Liverpool Summer Transfers: Why Reds Should Definitely Not Sign Diego Capel
Liverpool will likely be one of the Premier League's most interesting teams to watch this summer as Brendan Rodgers continues his rebuild of the squad with a new batch of players coming in, but one who almost certainly won't be, and certainly shouldn't be, is Diego Capel.
The Sporting Lisbon winger has endured a tough time of it this season, but the Express give him a glowing reference and a reason for Liverpool to sign him this summer:
The Reds are set to be given a £20m transfer kitty in the summer, and Brendan Rodgers is prepared to bring in some new arrivals. Capel has had a disappointing [season, presumably] by his standards at Sporting Lisbon and looks poised to be placed on the transfer list...Sporting's financial problems means Capel could be sacrificed to free up funds.
As tempting as that does sound, Capel doesn't really fit the requirements at Anfield this summer.
Here's some of the reasons why the former Sevilla winger shouldn't figure highly on Brendan Rodgers' wanted list.
Wide Wingers Aren't Really Brendan's Thing
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First of all, in Diego Capel's primary role, he is very much a winger who stays wide. He's not the type to cut infield, be heavily involved in link-up play, become an additional central presence...Capel hugs the line, beats his man and then tries to beat him again.
While Brendan Rodgers has utilised Stewart Downing for a large portion of recent months, he has been given a very specific tactical duty, one which he has played far better over the second half of the season, and it doesn't always involve sticking wide.
Capel is not so much a wide forward as an old-fashioned winger, almost. The Reds have one or two of those in the squad already, if they are required.
The name Oussama Assaidi would suggest they aren't.
The Left Side of Liverpool's Attack Appears to Be Rather Full
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Capel is very much capable of playing on either flank in the final third, but seems to have spent most of this season for Sporting starting from a left-sided position. At Sevilla, he frequently started on the same flank, before changing to the right later in games or coming on in that role as a substitute.
For Liverpool, it can be safely assumed that the left side of attack is about as full to capacity as any position could be.
Over the past two or three months, Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez, Fabio Borini, Jordan Henderson and now Philippe Coutinho have all played in that role—and that's without considering the two left-footed players who featured there earlier in the season, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique.
The right side is somewhat more open to new arrivals, but Capel certainly isn't an upgrade on Downing, tactically or in terms of experience, so it would be hard to see how he fits into the Liverpool attack right now.
Ball Retention in the Final Third, and Capel's Main Skill Sets
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Diego Capel is about getting the ball to his feet, taking on the opposition defender and trying to create a chance for himself or a teammate in and around the penalty area.
It's a good skill to have, and it is something that the Reds have lacked at times over the past few seasons, but that ship appears to have sailed.
Suarez, Coutinho, Sterling and to an extent Suso are all adept in one-on-one situations, and at best there might be only two of them at any one time who take to the field. Or at least, once the midfield trio is re-established, there should be.
For Liverpool, the idea of constant pressure and constant recycling of possession are two traits of the game which have never sat well with Capel.
He's an instinctive, direct and explosive attacker, but not one who works extremely hard off the ball or who offers a patient approach to build-up play.
Final Third Contribution
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Arguably the only player in the current Liverpool squad who could be replaced by Diego Capel would be Stewart Downing. Having come under fire for his poor contribution in his debut season, Downing has improved noticeably this term, notching three goals and four assists in league play.
Philippe Coutinho, in only a handful of games, has two goals and two assists. Raheem Sterling has two goals and six assists. Henderson has two goals and three assists.
In a weaker all-round league, Capel has delivered two goals and three assists himself this season. Not exactly compelling evidence to bring him in, at age 25 and with three years left on his contract, in place of one of the current Reds playing squad.
Stranger things have happened, but Capel to Liverpool doesn't seem like a good move for either party this summer.
Match data from TransferMarkt.co.uk