Liverpool Transfer Speculation: Top 5 Transfer Targets for Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool doesn’t have the ability to buy big-name players this summer because they can’t offer UEFA Champions League football next season.
Therefore, the Reds can forget about signing the likes of Edinson Cavani, Gastón Ramírez, Stevan Jovetić, Younès Belhanda and Luuk de Jong.
The trick is to sign these players before their transfer stock inflates to astronomical proportions.
Here are five players who are under-the-radar and have the potential to become elite footballers.
Lead image courtesy of devoetbalkantine.nl.
5. Wilfried Bony, Vitesse, Centre-Forward, Age: 23
When Brendan Rodgers managed Swansea City, he signed Kemy Agustien and Michel Vorm from AZ and Utrecht respectively. These two signings indicate that Rodgers keeps an eye on up-and-coming Eredivisie talents.
Liverpool cannot count on an injury-prone Craig Bellamy as a backup.
Wilfried Bony can be a deadly super sub. If there was a list of the pound-for-pound strongest footballers, Bony would be up there with Hulk.
The Ivorian is a tank and will finish in one-on-one situations, unlike Andy Carroll.
Bony was unstoppable during the Eredivisie UEFA Europa League playoffs, scoring five goals and providing two assists in four games.
4. Beñat, Real Betis, Centre Midfielder, Age: 25
Beñat brilliantly controlled the tempo of Real Betis' possession this season.
In a 2-2 draw against Barcelona, he displayed his expansive passing range, whether it was one-twos with Cañas, a through ball to Rubén Castro or switching the play with an accurate long ball.
Spain's depth in midfield is mind-boggling, with Xavi, Santi Cazorla, Xabi Alonso, David Silva, Andrés Iniesta, Juan Mata, Cesc Fàbregas and Sergio Busquets. You can also add in youngsters like Isco, Thiago and Iker Muniain.
Even so, Beñat managed to play two games for Vicente del Bosque, which is highly impressive.
He was tidy in his debut against Serbia.
In a 4-1 win over South Korea, he played Kim Do-Heon and Koo Ja-Cheol off the park with movement and smart passes.
3. Yohan Mollo, Granada, Left Forward, Age: 22
Image via chronofoot.com
Yohan Mollo can create something out of nothing. He's technically superb, possesses good dribbling ability and has world-class potential.
If his teammate Daniel Niculae was a better finisher, Mollo could have accumulated at least 15 assists—and he only played half the season.
Why hasn't he made his senior international debut yet? Why wasn't he wanted by bigger teams? Something doesn't seem right.
|League Only||Shots Created Per Game|
2. Giorgi Chanturia, Vitesse, Right Forward, Age: 19
If Merab Jordania wasn't such a big influence at Vitesse, Giorgi Chanturia probably would've stayed at La Masia.
Chanturia is only a kid, so you should excuse him for making some daft decisions, especially in the final third.
Wilfried Bony would have scored more goals if the Georgian prodigy passed the ball more. Having said that, Chanturia is capable of sublime magic as Paweł Kieszek found out.
Some have likened Chanturia to Lionel Messi, which isn't accurate because Chanturia is bigger, stronger and more selfish than the Argentine.
Vitesse have some quality players in Wilfried Bony, Alexander Büttner, Marco van Ginkel, Guram Kashia and Mike Havenaar.
1. Roberto Firmino, Hoffenheim, Attacking Midfielder, Age: 20
Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images
Roberto Firmino was the reason why Gylfi Sigurðsson couldn't get into the Hoffenheim team.
Firmino is one good season away from becoming a superstar. He has world-class technique and outrageous dribbling ability.
He can play as the No. 10, he can play out wide and because he is such a good tackler, he can even dictate from centre midfield.
He's as versatile as Adriano, as skillful as Djalminha and has the upside of Ronaldinho during his Paris Saint-Germain days.
|League Only||Tackles Per Game||Interceptions Per Game|
|League Only||Dribbles Per Game|
|Luis Suárez ||2.5|
|Eden Hazard ||2.3|
|Hatem Ben Arfa||2|