Liverpool Transfer News: Reds Must Maintain Pursuit of Rising Star Lacina Traore

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2012

KAZAN, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 28: Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez (L) and Lacina Traore of FC Anji Makhachkala celebrate after scoring a goal during the Russian Football League Championship match between FC Rubin Kazan and FC Anji Makhachkala at the Tsentraliniy Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Kazan, Russia.  (Photo by Nikolay Alexandrov/Epsilon/Getty Images)
Epsilon/Getty Images

Liverpool must continue to search far and wide for striker help. A lack of attacking talent is the main reason the club currently sits in the bottom half of the table. The Reds' interest in Lacina Traore is certainly a positive sign.

The Anzhi Makhachkala star, who recently scored the winning goal against Liverpool in a Europa League match, has been linked to the Reds and his agent confirmed the team has been involved, according to a report from ESPN.

"Aside from Liverpool, Udinese are another on the list of clubs to have made contact about the purchase of Traore," Selyuk was quoted as saying by Russian newspaper Izvestia. "I'm afraid the Italian side won't be able to meet the player's valuation."

Even though it's unclear if the Russian side would be willing to move Traore, it's a situation the Reds need to keep monitoring in order to maintain the edge it sounds like they have right now. He's exactly the type of player Liverpool need.

As it stands now, Liverpool rank in the middle of the pack in terms of goals scored and are already well off the pace being set by Manchester United. In fact, the Red Devils have more than doubled their total through just 11 matches.

Liverpool didn't expect to compete for a Premier League title in the first season under new manager Brendan Rodgers, who's in the process of building a roster that fits his approach. It's going to take some time before they are back near the top.

The most glaring weakness is up front, and the stats illustrate that. Luis Suarez has scored eight times in league play, which is tied for the league lead with United's Robin van Persie. But no other player has scored more than once.

It's clear Suarez needs help, and Traore would provide it. The 22-year-old Ivory Coast international has been terrific since joining Anzhi during the summer from Kuban Krasnodar, immediately attracting attention from clubs around Europe.

His strong form has been highlighted by four goals in eight Europa League appearances, the most impressive of which was the aforementioned one against the Reds.

Of course, when a player shows off that type of ability in a European tournament, there are going to be more than a few teams keeping tabs on his status. That's why it's so important for Liverpool to try to pry him away from Anzhi before his value skyrockets.

His size (6'8'') makes him stand out from the crowd, but it doesn't define him. He combines it with speed and improving technical skill to make him an intriguing prospect for clubs seeking a young striker.

It may take some time before Anzhi is willing to get serious about selling him, but Liverpool must keep a close eye on the situation and need to be the first to pounce if there's even a hint of movement. If it becomes a bidding war, the Reds aren't likely to win it.

So they must be quick. Traore is the type of player who can bring all of Rodgers' plans together, and his value is only going to rise over the next handful of years.