Liverpool have been linked with a number of stars since the summer transfer window closed, though one name has been appearing in the gossip columns rather more frequently over the past few weeks.
Though the rumor may simply be a knee-jerk reaction to Liverpool’s current striker shortage, one has to wonder what impact the transfer could have if a move to Anfield were to materialise.
This article takes a closer look at Huntelaar, outlining exactly what the forward brings to the table and how his arrival could possibly affect the club.
First and foremost, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is a natural source of goals—and plenty of them.
Last term he hit a stunning 48 goals from 47 appearances in all competitions, including 14 in just 12 European games and a further 29 in 32 domestic encounters.
The previous campaign was no one-off occurrence though. Huntelaar plundered 105 goals in just 136 appearances after receiving his first big break at Ajax, and boasts a commendable international scoring ratio with 34 strikes from his 59 caps so far.
Such a record does not come about by luck; for Huntelaar it is a combination of positional, aerial and technical excellence. Such skills would be a welcome addition to the Liverpool forward line given their current lack of striking options.
Such aforementioned attributes make Huntelaar one of the natural out-and-out strikers in the game.
His strengths are best utilised high up the pitch on the shoulder of the last defender. Thus, he is the perfect candidate to lead the line up-front for any top side in world football.
And with Brendan Rodgers favouring a 4-3-3 formation, Huntelaar would fit in with great ease.
The Dutchman would serve as the true focal point of the attack, operating in the role that Rodgers had previously assigned to Danny Graham in his highly successful Swansea City side of last season.
Huntelaar would arguably fulfil this role with greater competence that Graham did for the Swans last term, and of all the candidates that Liverpool may have for that position, Huntelaar would surely be a more appropriate choice than either of them.
That leads me to my next point.
Luis Suarez’s Role
Employing Huntelaar in the central striking position would mean removing Suarez from the role that he has been used in so far this season.
But this would not be a negative move by any means.
Suarez is, of course, a hugely talented footballer, but his assets are perhaps best exploited in other areas of the pitch.
His finishing is not the most impressive part of his game, as demonstrated by the fact that at one point last season his shots-to-goals ratio was a poor 14.8 shots per every goal.
Rather, his strengths lie in running at defenders with the ball at his feet. Such attributes would thus be more suited to a supporting role instead of that of the main striker.
Thus, in signing Huntelaar, Rodgers could move Suarez to a wider role of a Liverpool front-three perhaps, enabling the Uruguayan to realise his true potential in an area of the pitch more suited to his sizeable talents.
Huntelaar may not have reached 30 years of age yet, but he is vastly experienced nonetheless.
Having appeared for some of Europe’s most historically successful clubs of all time, he has played alongside some of true legends of the game.
Wesley Sneijder at Ajax, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben and Raul at Real Madrid and, of course, Andrea Pirlo, David Beckham and Ronaldinho at AC Milan are just a few of the names that Huntelaar has linked up with during his maturing playing career.
And one thing’s for sure, you don’t play alongside such gifted footballers without learning a thing or two.
Whether during key games, on the training ground or even behind the scenes in the changing rooms, Huntelaar has a wealth of vital first-hand experience that could really be of benefit to Liverpool youngsters such as Raheem Sterling and Suso.
Therefore, his arrival could benefit a number of areas of the team, rather than just his own.
The final point to consider is that of financial matters, and one would have to think that any potential transfer would be highly appealing to Liverpool in this regard.
With the Dutchman’s contract expiring at the end of the season, Schalke are under real pressure to either tie their top scorer down to a new deal, or cash in on him while they can in the January transfer window.
If the latter option were to come to fruition, then Brendan Rodgers could find himself securing Huntelaar’s services for something of a cut-price deal, and as a result still have funds to further strengthen other areas of the team.
To conclude, it would appear that Huntelaar’s potential arrival could have a number of benefits for Liverpool FC beyond just the obvious fact of scoring goals.
Completing the deal will not be an easy task by any means, with a number of other clubs allegedly on alert given his hesitance in agreeing a new deal at Schalke.
But nonetheless, a club with the stature, history and tradition of Liverpool would certainly be capable of attracting Huntelaar, while Rodgers himself is confident that the club will be able to fund any potential transfer.
If the Reds wish to return to prominence in the Premier League table, then perhaps Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is the right place to start.
Comment below with your thoughts on the potential transfer as well as the impact you think Huntelaar could have should be eventually join Liverpool FC.