Scouting Diego Capel: Rumored Liverpool Transfer Target

Mark JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2013

LISBON - AUGUST 13:  Diego Capel of Sporting Clube de Portugal in action during the Portuguese Primeira Liga ZON Sagres match between Sporting Lisbon and Olhanense at the Alvalade Stadium on August 13, 2011 in Lisbon,Portugal. (Photo by Patricia De Melo Moreira/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

The names keep getting linked with Liverpool ahead of the summer transfer window, and they are only likely to increase.

One of the latest is Sporting Lisbon winger Diego Capel, the 25-year-old who made his name with Sevilla before a move to Portugal two years ago.

With his career at cash-strapped Sporting failing to take off, Capel―who picked up two caps for Spain in 2008―is now reportedly available for around £10 million (via Daily Mirror), and with Brendan Rodgers on the lookout to strengthen a Liverpool squad that has at times looked painfully thin this season, the winger could be seen as a perfect squad addition.

Although not a prolific goalscorer, the left-sided Capel has proved to be a solid and steady performer during his two years at Sporting―where he often played in front of former Liverpool left-back Emiliano Insua.

It was his years at Sevilla that he’s more famous for, though.

Although he initially broke into the side as a teenager in the 2004/05 season, Capel was more often than not seen in the B team until making the breakthrough to become a first-team regular as a 19-year-old in 2007.

In Capel’s four years in the Sevilla first XI, the club never once finished outside of the top five in La Liga, with the left winger playing a key role alongside players such as Frederic Kanoute, Luis Fabiano, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and even Daniel Alves for a year before the full-back’s move to Barcelona.

The Catalan giants were actually where Capel began his youth career very briefly, but it was at Sevilla where he was certainly catching the eye, and in the summer of 2008 he was linked with a £12.5 million move to Tottenham Hotspur (via Daily Telegraph)―who were then managed by Capel’s former Sevilla boss Juande Ramos, who had guided the club to back-to-back UEFA Cups in 2006 and 2007.

Real Madrid were also credited with an interest in Capel when it became clear that they were going to sell Robinho (, but the winger stayed in Andalusia until the summer of 2011 when he made the somewhat surprising move to Sporting Lisbon.

His new side came fourth in Capel’s first season, whilst they also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League. The current campaign has been one to forget for the Lions, though, and they currently lie seventh in their domestic league―a disastrous low for them―amidst the backdrop of financial problems.

Those problems have led to the club agreeing to sell Dutch forward Ricky van Wolfswinkel to Norwich City in the summer, whilst it is also possible that ex-Barcelona man Jeffren Suarez and Dutch international Stijn Schaars could leave if suitable offers come in.

Capel is likely to bring in a hefty sum for the club, though, and if the interest from Liverpool is real it is easy to see why.

In the recent goalless draws with West Ham and Reading it was painfully clear that Liverpool can lack natural width at times, with players such as Philippe Coutinho often looking to cut inside as opposed to getting chalk on his boots.

As a squad player more so than a guaranteed starter, it would be possible to envisage Capel playing on either the left of Liverpool’s midfield or in the front three depending on the circumstance. Viewed as a backup to the still maturing and still very raw Coutinho, he certainly makes some appeal.

Any move for him is, of course, a long way off and has the potential not to happen at all, but the reasons for Liverpool wanting Capel certainly look to be very well-established.

Were the Reds to get him, they’d be adding an experienced and classy performer who has impressively established himself on the European stage.