Scouting Liverpool Transfer Target: Striker Bojan Krkic

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 06:  Krkic Bojan of AC Milan celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AC Siena at San Siro Stadium on January 6, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Liverpool's rumoured transfer activity shows no sign of slowing down according to the latest reports, with the Reds said to be considering a move for AS Roma forward Bojan Krkic.

Formerly of Barcelona and this season having been on loan to AC Milan, Bojan has not quite managed to settle and establish himself anywhere yet, and TalkSPORT indicate that both Liverpool and Newcastle United are looking at bringing him to the Premier League next to fulfil his undoubted potential.

Already capped at international level but unable to hold down a spot at a club, Bojan needs to make sure his next move is the right one to reignite his career.


Bojan's Career and a Complicated Contract

Having broken into Barcelona's team at the age of just 17 and scoring 10 goals in La Liga, Bojan's first season as a senior player was also perhaps his best one so far. The following year he made his debut for Spain against Armenia, but only scored in one league game all season. He fared better in 09-10, scoring eight in 23 in the league, but he only played the full 90 minutes on three occasions.

By then it was clear he was not going to make as big an impact as had been hoped, and though he played out one more season at Barça, a move to AS Roma followed in the summer of 2011.

Bojan played 33 times in his debut season in Serie A, but the vast majority came as substitute and he found the net only seven times, prompting a loan move to AC Milan for the season just ended.

Three goals in 19 matches says everything about his downturn in fortunes since his move to Italy.

In terms of who would be keeping or selling him this summer, it's a little complicated.

Roma signed Bojan from Barcelona for a fee of around £10.5 million, but with the Spanish side retaining an option to re-sign the striker for a little more than that after two years; in other words, this summer.

Were Roma to want to keep him instead of letting Barcelona call him back, the Italian club would have to pay around an additional £25 million—something which, given his lack of success at the Rome club, they are unlikely to want to do.

But what about Barcelona? They have moved on since Bojan left, and the young forward has not improved. He would not now get in the team ahead of the likes of Alexis Sanchez or Pedro, while Neymar's arrival also rules out playing to the left of the attack.

AC Milan took over Roma's option to keep Bojan, but they have shown no concrete desire to make the loan move permanent and, according to Sky Sports, Bojan himself wants to move to a team who will play him more often.


Where Did it Go Wrong and Where Could it Go Right?

Bojan quickly shot to prominence because of his cool finishing and composure, his movement and good acceleration in the penalty area.

Clearly, Bojan still has a career in front of him as a centre-forward, but he needs a strong, long run of games to show his best attributes and to get fully match sharp.

His confidence, of course, has been drained away with not starting matches regularly for several seasons, and now at 22 years of age, he should be coming into his peak athleticism and brimming with ambition and ability.

Much of his career so far has seen Bojan play an attacking role from the left side of the front line; he has had opportunities as a centre-forward this season and that is where he needs to be operating more often.

While his acceleration is good, Bojan is not the type of speedster to keep up a huge pace over 20 metres or more, meaning a wide role in a counter-attacking team, or in a tactical system which requires him to track back before attacking, won't bring out the best of his abilities.

Keep Bojan on the pitch and in the opposition penalty box, and that early ability to hit the back of the net could well come back.


Suitability for Liverpool

If Luis Suarez stays at Anfield, the Reds have him, Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini who can play centre-forward, with Iago Aspas also rumoured to be close to a deal, as per Sky Sports. Would Bojan get much of a look in with that quartet already at the club?

Arguably not. He would be reduced to playing a substitute's role, perhaps from the flank again, and he's also far from as creative as Philippe Coutinho so the left side of attack might be out of the question too.

If Suarez goes...well, Sturridge will be the favourite to play as striker, though with his injury set to sideline him into the new campaign, there might be an opportunity for a new face to get a chance. It needs an instant impact though, and Liverpool would be taking a gamble on signing a player who has yet to cut it for a whole season to replace their best attacker.

Were the transfer fee to be reasonable, Bojan will likely make a good signing for one team or another this season.

As for if it will be Liverpool, there appear to be other candidates more suited to the roles the Reds need significant strengthening in at present.


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