Liverpool Transfer News: What the Reds Need to Know About Rasmus Elm
Image via http://www.svd.se
Liverpool's bid to sign Elm is on hold, after the Swedish international revealed he wouldn't make a decision until the conclusion of Euro 2012, according to metro.co.uk.
Translation: if the 24-year-old is a revelation at the Euros, he'll look to sign for a UEFA Champions League-competing club.
5. Profiling Rasmus Elm
In 66 Allsvenskan games, Rasmus Elm scored 18 goals and provided 17 assists for Kalmar.
When AZ signed Elm, then-manager Ronald Koeman preferred David Mendes da Silva and Stijn Schaars as central midfielders in a 4-4-2.
Koeman's sacking allowed Elm to show Dick Advocaat that he was good enough to start alongside da Silva and Schaars in a 4-3-3. Da Silva was later moved to right-back so that Pontus Wernbloom could fit into the side.
The No. 1 characteristic about Elm is his set-piece proficiency. His free kicks aren't David Beckham-esque (yet), but he's getting there.
He has good vision, a ferocious shot and solid technique.
Aside from his set pieces, he doesn't have the X-factor that makes you go wow.
4. Rasmus Elm 2011/12 Season Summary
Image via uefa.com.
Under Gertjan Verbeek, Rasmus Elm had a good 2011-12 season for AZ.
In a 1-1 draw against Ajax, not only did Elm fire a free kick past Kenneth Vermeer, but the Swede controlled the tempo of the game and played some incisive passes.
The departure of Pontus Wernbloom affected Elm because he didn't have an anchor man behind him. Verbeek decided to play Maarten Martens as the attacking midfielder, burdening Elm and Adam Maher with more defensive duties.
If there is any AZ player Liverpool should sign, it has to be Maher because he plays the game like a seasoned pro even though he's just 18.
3. Is Rasmus Elm the Best Centre Midfielder in the Eredivisie?
* Goals Scored/Provided Average Per Game
Elm may be statistically superior to his fellow Eredivisie central midfielders, but Clasie is easily the best central midfielder this season.
Clasie was behind all of Feyenoord's meaningful attacks. He has high football IQ, knows his role inside out, has expansive passing range, possesses creativity in abundance and is only 20 years of age.
Elm had a better season than Maher, but that's to be expected because Maher is still a teenager.
Strootman's physique combined with his guile makes him a better transfer option than Elm.
Janssen is a good Eredivisie player but nothing else. There's a reason why he has yet to play in a better league. Elm is a better player than him, but that's not saying much.
2. Rasmus Elm Would Be a Pointless Signing by Liverpool
Where does Rasmus Elm rank among Liverpool's central midfielders? Second behind Steven Gerrard. Signing Elm would not only wreck Jordan Henderson's already bruised ego but stunt his development.
What about Charlie Adam and Jonjo Shelvey?
Rather than sign Elm, Liverpool should bring back Alberto Aquilani and start him because evidently the current crop of midfielders (bar Gerrard) are mediocre.
If Liverpool want to improve, they need to sign some wingers not central midfielders. They've already dropped the ball on Ola John, who Benfica signed for £7.2 million. Investing in promising non-British youngsters has worked wonders for the Portuguese club.
They signed Ángel di María for £7 million and sold him for £20.3 million. They signed Ramires for £6.6 million and sold him for £18.3 million. They signed Fábio Coentrão for £0.8 million and sold him for £27 million. They signed David Luiz for £0.4 million and sold him for £21.3 million.
Notice a trend? It's called economically efficient transfer signings. Maybe Liverpool need to hire the person behind Benfica's transfer management.
1. Final Comment
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Due to Kim Källström and Anders Svensson, Rasmus Elm hasn't been a regular starter for the Swedish national team. Svensson has had a modest career, whilst Källström isn't an elite midfielder.
What would Elm bring to Liverpool? Set pieces. Who takes the set pieces for the Reds? Steven Gerrard.
When Gerrard doesn't play, management need to ban Charlie Adam from taking set pieces. Sir Alex Ferguson was a prisoner of the moment when he said Adam's corners were worth £10 million.
Elm is a "big fish in a small pond" type of player. In order for him to excel at a big club, he needs the team to be built around him.
Will that happen at Liverpool? No. If they aren't willing to build the team around Luis Suárez, why would they built it around Elm?
That's why I said it was an unusual transfer target for Liverpool because they don't need a central midfielder.
They need incisive wingers who can consistently dribble past full-backs and send in accurate crosses.
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