Clint Dempsey has had an impressive career for an American in Europe, playing well for Fulham since 2007. Still, the chance to play in the Champions League has eluded the US National Team star throughout his career.
Now, Dempsey has expressed his interest to play for a Champions League side, and Liverpool is the top suitor despite their absence from this year's edition.
Goal.com reported Liverpool is close to signing Dempsey even though they will be playing in the Europa League in 2012-13.
In his time at Fulham, Dempsey has improved each season in both goals and appearances. Dempsey scored 60 goals in his Fulham career, including 23 in 2011-12.
Liverpool needs to jump on the opportunity to sign Dempsey for a number of reasons on and off the pitch.
Dempsey's ability to score is well noted in his time with Fulham. While he may not be able to achieve the same success with the Reds, Dempsey will be a helpful addition to Liverpool's offensive production and his presence will help relieve pressure on other scorers.
Perhaps his most important on-field attribute is his versatility. Dempsey proved with Fulham and the United States that he can play both the forward and midfielder positions. With this wrinkle in his game, Dempsey becomes valuable late in games when substitutions and position switches need to be made, giving Liverpool more options to put their best 11 on the pitch for each situation.
The benefits to the Reds on-field success are important, but an American marketing campaign that could follow a Dempsey signing is an interesting concept that may yield impressive results.
While MLS has it's fans, the US Men's National Team has always been the most followed squad in the United States.
Liverpool has marketed to the US already. The Reds are playing in the states this week in Boston and Baltimore to help improve popularity among Americans.
While tours are great, having an American player as a key contributor to a Liverpool squad could prove to be what Europe's top squads need to break into the US market.
Having Dempsey on Liverpool would make him a figurehead for American soccer succeeding in European football, creating a fanship that would increase shirt sales as well as Liverpool's popularity across the US, a country where the most popular clubs have always been the team that's in first place.
Dempsey adds a lot to Liverpool, and his signing should be a great move for the Reds. Not only does it give them a chance to win more matches, it gives them a chance to become a true intercontinental club with immense popularity around the world.
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