Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Reds Must Strike Quickly to Land Christian Atsu

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2013

NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 06: Christian Atsu Twasam from Ghana and Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri from Burkina Faso compete for the ball during the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations 2nd Semi Final match between Burkina Faso and Ghana at Mbombela Stadium on February 06, 2013 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Liverpool may soon be losing Luis Suarez and already has been beaten to the punch on top target Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer, as Borussia Dortmund landed him instead. 

But with another target, Christian Atsu, reportedly about to become available, the Reds must strike quickly to improve their attacking forces. 

From Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports:

Porto are ready to listen to offers for Premier League target Christian Atsu with the player refusing to sign a new deal. Atsu has been locked in a contract wrangle with Porto all summer, with the club keen to tie down the Ghana international to a new deal and increase his buy-out clause.

However, the 21-year-old has refused all offers from the club as he seeks to win a move away from Porto.

Atsu was left out of Porto's pre-season tour of Holland and the club have now decided to sell the skilful winger. Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move for Atsu, but Sky Sports understands Tottenham and Everton are now actively monitoring the player's situation at Estadio do Dragao.

Atsu is still more potential than final product, scoring a goal and adding an assist in 24 total appearances for Porto last season. Still, Atsu has plenty of potential, and a future with Atsu and Raheem Sterling streaming down the wings is plenty to get excited about for Liverpool fans. 

His pace is elite, making him a handful for fullbacks to deal with. He certainly has an eye for goal, even if he doesn't always have the boot capable of matching his scoring intent, and at times he should play a pass rather than have a go himself. 

He certainly isn't a poor passer or crosser, though he has room to improve in that regard. Still, in Brendan Rodgers' system, he should be able to cause havoc out wide in space and would provide Liverpool with a player capable of stretching an opposing defense. 

Still, with Suarez on the way out, Liverpool will be looking for a much more polished addition this summer than Atsu. Without question, he'll earn some playing time this year and he's one for the future, but this is a team that seems certain to lose one of the world's most dynamic goal-scorers. 

And players like Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Atsu if he is signed—along with attack-minded players like Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho—won't be able to replicate Suarez's impact on a game. 

It's a tough spot Liverpool finds itself in. If the club loves Atsu, they have to strike quickly before Tottenham or Everton do. But if Suarez leaves, well, a signing like Atsu will feel like a pretty weak consolation prize unless the Reds quickly turn the Suarez transfer fee into a different elite player. 

Then again, with players like Alberto, Coutinho and Atsu, the future would be very bright. Just not "Champions League football next season" bright. 


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