With talk of Jurgen Klopp being handed the biggest transfer budget in Liverpool’s history this summer, Kopites are salivating at the prospect of some genuinely stellar names heading to Anfield. For too long now the Reds’ transfer business has centred around elite footballers leaving Merseyside, with the those drafted in, albeit talented, often not the finished product.
Reports from the Mirror have indicated that Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez could be the marquee man to kick off this era, amid suggestions he’s set to be pushed out by Real Madrid after three seasons at the Bernabeu. When fielding questions in his weekly La Liga column for Sky Sports, Guillem Balague confirmed Liverpool’s interest in the player, while claiming a deal may be difficult to pull off:
“Of course they are [interested in Rodriguez], but they aren’t the only one. Liverpool are realistic and I think they realise James is looking for a different type of team.
“But he is leaving the door open to all possibilities because he knows Real Madrid want to get rid of him. He would like to go to a club like Chelsea or Manchester United and he has offers from England and Italy but we will have to wait and see.”
Signed from Monaco on the back of a stunning 2014 World Cup, Rodriguez starred for Real initially before falling down the pecking order to the point that he’s made just 14 league appearances this season, playing only 683 minutes. Liverpool have shown in the past that they can offer stars the chance to revive their careers – Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge were signed from the peripheries of big clubs’ squads in 2013 – and the Colombian international’s stats from 2014/15 to now suggest he could be the ideal blend between proven quality and fix-up potential…
As the numbers show, Rodriguez has remained creative across his 69 La Liga matches, carving out 163 chances and laying on 26 assists, while his goalscoring edge has been evident 22 times – 13 came in his debut season. A pass completion of 87% hints that he could slot into a fluid Liverpool attacking line also, while 54 take-ons, although not a vast return, points towards an ability to drive at opponents.