Iago Aspas to Liverpool: Why Fans Should Be Pleased with Early Transfer Activity
Update (June 13, 2013)
Liverpool have officially announced that an agreement has been reached in principle with Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas.
-- End Update
Following the confirmed capture of Kolo Toure on Tuesday evening, talk began about Liverpool and transfers once more on Wednesday with speculation that Iago Aspas was about to be sealed as the Reds' second signing of the summer.
Toure will join on a free transfer from Manchester City according to the official club website, while the Telegraph claims that a £9 million deal has been arranged to bring in forward Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo in the Spanish top flight.
Getting a head start in the transfer window this summer gives Liverpool fans every reason to be confident going forward, even if the names being brought in at the moment are not the most exciting ones.
Iago Aspas: Who Is He, and Why Did the Reds Want Him?
Celta Vigo are currently battling relegation from La Liga, placed 18th in the table with one match left to play. In a tight bottom-of-the-table battle, any three of four sides could still go down.
Iago Aspas is Celta's top scorer with 12 goals in 33 appearances, precisely a third of all the goals his team have scored this campaign. He most often plays as the lone centre forward with plenty of support from behind, but he's more than capable of operating from a deeper attacking midfield role or cutting in from the flank.
Six assists in addition to his goals mark him out as the real danger man in the final third for Celta.
Why Is He a Good Signing for Liverpool?
According to the media reports, signing Aspas for £9 million would represent good business for the Reds. He would not be an immediate first-choice starter but rather would add serious depth to the first-team squad in attack.
His abilities include good acceleration and power when running at speed, an ability to beat a defender with quick movement or one-touch passing and certainly an eye for goal.
Iago Aspas has registered a 12 percent shot conversion rate this season; not the best around, but certainly far from the worst. Considering that he has managed this playing for a team struggling at the bottom of the table, it displays how much of a threat he is in the penalty area. Most of his goals come from his talented left foot, with four goals coming in his last nine games.
Versatility, pace, good link-up play and some fine movement off the ball are also key attributes.
Why Should Fans Be Pleased with the Rumoured Signing?
As in the case of Kolo Toure, Liverpool are showing that they have identified their targets early and are willing to go and seal the deals before other options are presented to the players. The manager and his staff involved in the recruitment process must indeed be convinced of their decisions, and therefore it is wise to not delay any potential moves when possible.
Of course there are some deals which take time to work out, but Toure (contract expiration) and Iago Aspas (release clause) are two transfers which had a finite point for discussions, meaning the Reds could tie them up early.
Both deals look based on the idea of improving the depth of the squad, giving the manager more choices to rotate his team without the threat of a drop in quality in any given starting XI.
Is Iago Aspas a good signing for Liverpool?
With Fabio Borini, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge all capable of playing the centre-forward, Aspas now makes it a quartet of strikers—which the Reds haven't been able to choose from for some time. In addition, all three of those currently at the club can play in wider roles, while Aspas would fit in well playing just off one of the others.
It is likely that Aspas joins not as a first-pick striker in the regular XI, but instead to ensure that Liverpool's teams can remain at a constant level of quality in the final third whoever is asked to start.
And in that regard, the rumoured signing of Iago Aspas is a smart, low-risk investment which could well pay off in a big way for the Reds.
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