Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Burak Yilmaz Would Be Solid Luis Suarez Replacement

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2013

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 02:  Burak Yilmaz of Galatasaray AS in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Galatasaray AS and SC Braga on October 2, 2012 at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Let's get one thing straight—if Liverpool lose Luis Suarez this summer, replacing his 23 goals in 33 matches will be nearly impossible. Few forwards in the world were better last season than Suarez was for the Reds. 

But the team will have to replace him if he goes, and one of the more intriguing targets Liverpool has been linked to is Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz.

From Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports:

Liverpool are keeping tabs on Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz, Sky Sports understands.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is drawing up a shortlist of targets to replace Luis Suarez, should the unsettled Uruguayan secure a move away from Anfield this summer.

The likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal have been credited with an interest in Suarez and should he leave Liverpool, Rodgers will be keen to bring in a big-name signing to help fill the void.

Yilmaz is regarded as one the best strikers in Europe after impressing for Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League last season and the Turkish international is thought to be on Rodgers' radar.

Yilmaz was brilliant for Galatasaray last season, scoring 24 goals in 30 league appearances and really making his mark in the Champions League, netting eight goals in nine appearances. gave him a 7.27 match rating for the European showcase and two Man of the Match designations. 

While he is soon to be 28 and it remains unclear if he could replicate his goal-scoring touch in the Premier League, Yilmaz would probably represent more bang for Liverpool's buck than other forwards on the market. 

And outside of a potential Gonzalo Higuain swoop—which hasn't really been rumoured, but would make sense if Arsenal continue to pursue Suarez and if Real Madrid really are serious about letting Higuain leave this summer—there aren't that many forwards on the market that could come close to replacing Suarez. 

But a group comprised of Yilmaz, Iago Aspas, Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini would be pretty solid and give Rodgers some flexibility when constructing a front three (or striking pair, as he often did when Sturridge arrived in January).

No, that group couldn't replicate Suarez's individual impact on the game. But what could happen is something similar to when Robin van Persie left Arsenal last summer—it could make the Liverpool offense less Suarez-centric and more balanced. 

Two years ago, everything Arsenal did was based upon Robin van Persie, and every one of his 30 goals was huge for the club. Last season, there was far more balance and flexibility in the buildup play. While Arsenal did miss having a true poacher to finish chances, the Gunners also played like a much more cohesive offensive unit than they had the season before. 

That will have to be the hope for Liverpool as well, while also hoping a player like Aspas (or Yilmaz, if he is ultimately bought) will provide a steady poacher of goals. The Reds can't replace Suarez, but they can adjust their attack and be a better team if they make the right moves and institute the right approach without him.

Landing Yilmaz would certainly be a good start in that direction. 


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