Liverpool FC: 4 Reasons Why the Reds Should Sign Celtic's Gary Hooper in January
Hooper has scored 60 goals in 100 appearances for the Bhoys since joining from Scunthorpe for £2.4 million in July 2010.
Liverpool would be well served to pursue Hooper in January. Here are four reasons why.
4. Fits the System
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Throughout his time at Celtic, Hooper has been lauded for his ability to drop deep and hold up the ball for his teammates and for his sheer passing and playmaking abilities.
In fact, in addition to his 60 goals in 100 appearances for the club, Hooper has racked up 16 assists.
In Brendan Rodgers' system, every player needs to have the ability to pass and move alongside his teammates. Hooper would undeniably be the spearhead of the 4-3-3, playing centrally to two wingers, and would bring playmaking prowess, clever movement and tremendous finishing ability to the Liverpool side.
He fits the system well.
3. Youth Fits Well in Liverpool Front-Line
Pete Norton/Getty Images
After everything he's accomplished in his young career, it's hard to believe that Gary Hooper, veteran of seven professional seasons, is still only 24 years old.
Liverpool, who has sought to sign young players only over the past few seasons, would be able to put Hooper alongside the likes of Oussama Assaidi, 24; Fabio Borini, 21; Dani Pacheco, 21; Raheem Sterling, 17; Suso, 18; Luis Suarez, 25; and Samed Yesil, 18.
He is also English, and though he has not appeared on the international stage, he fits in to Fenway Sports Group's transfer policy in the pre-Brendan Rodgers days.
The club's youth is one of its biggest assets and, though he does have experience, Gary Hooper certainly would not sacrifice that.
2. All-Time Low Value
Pete Norton/Getty Images
Gary Hooper's current contract with Celtic does not expire until June 2014, but he has become available after new contract talks with the club reportedly broke down.
Much like the case with fellow Liverpool target Theo Walcott, Hooper would be available at a lower price than his talent and potential suggests.
Brendan Rodgers would get Hooper at great value.
If the Reds can pick up him for less than £10 million in January, it could prove to be one of the coups of the season for the Anfield club.
1. Proven Goal Scorer
In 100 games with Celtic, Gary Hooper has scored 60 goals at a prolific goals-per-game rate of 0.60.
If he can score that many goals with Kris Commons, Joe Ledley and Anthony Stokes by his side, imagine how many he might score with Steven Gerrard, Nuri Sahin, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez alongside him.
And for those saying the difference in quality between the Scottish Premier League and the English Premier League is too great for Hooper to be able to translate his game, the Englishman has also shown his ability in European competition, with six goals in 13 appearances for the Bhoys.
Besides, the last SPL striker to move across the border—Nikica Jelavic—has scored 15 times in 23 games for Everton since his move from Rangers.
Hooper is the definition of a clinical striker. A sublime finisher who scores more goals inside the six-yard box than outside is just the type of player Liverpool need—a lethal goal-poacher.
The capture of Gary Hooper could finally allow Liverpool to fulfill its full potential and return to the top four. Brendan Rodgers must seriously consider signing him up, whatever the price.