Liverpool Should Be on Alert as Eljero Elia Is Set to Leave Juventus

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2012

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 08:  Eljero Elia of FC Juventus prepares to shoot at goal as he is closed down by Mike Edwards of Notts County during the pre season friendly match between FC Juventus and Notts County on September 8, 2011 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Liverpool would be wise to go after Dutch winger Eljero Elia.

According to talkSPORT, he is out the door at Juventus. He told a Dutch television station this:

I'll leave Juventus. I've already agreed with Juventus that I will be joining another club.

I just have the desire to start enjoying football again and my agent is evaluating all offers.

He only managed to play in four Serie A matches and one in the Coppa Italia last season.

For this reason, Elia wants out of Juve, and it appears the club will oblige.

With the situation the way it is, any transfer fee would be nominal, surely nothing more than the €9 million Juventus paid for him. But it's unlikely they'll even be able to get that much.

With the departure of Dirk Kuyt and the possibility of Maxi Rodriguez leaving as well, Liverpool need to purchase a winger this summer.

Fortunately for them, the Reds appear to have plenty of options. There's Elia's Juventus teammate Milos Krasic, Cristian Tello and Salomon Kalou.

A few months ago, Alan Dzagoev and Ibrahim Afellay might have been targets for the Reds.

However, after the Euro 2012 tournament he's having, it's doubtful Dzagoev would move to Anfield, as many other clubs will be lining up for his signature. Even if Liverpool were interested, the club would likely be priced out of a move anyway.

Afellay's season was much like Elia's in that he was frozen out of the starting lineup at Barcelona, but it was mostly because of injury. He's going to play a role in Tito Vilanova's Barca side.

The time would be perfect for Liverpool to pursue Elia. The Dutchman's only 25 years old, so he has a couple years before he'll reached his prime.

He moved from Hamburg to Juventus for only €9 million last year. Transfermarkt has the winger valued at only £4.4 million.

This is the kind of transfer that puts Liverpool in a good position. If it works, then they get good value for money. But if Elia struggles, then they didn't waste a lot of money.

A small transfer fee would also benefit Elia as well. He wouldn't have to deal with moving to a league while justifying a massive price tag.

He's a more natural left winger, but he can move over to the right if Brendan Rodgers would prefer to play Stewart Downing on the left.

Elia's speed is arguably his best asset, and that is something that Liverpool kind of lacks as a squad.

Downing can move down the pitch quickly, as can Craig Bellamy, but Elia provides the kind of ability to really blow by defenders that Aaron Lennon does for Tottenham and Theo Walcott likewise for Arsenal.

Although it appears that Rodgers might be more interested in Krasic, they should be careful in choosing a player that finished third in the 2011 Bidone d'Oro voting, which is awarded by an Italian radio station for the worst player in Serie A.