Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Analyzing What Roberto Soldado Would Bring to Reds
As Liverpool continue to work their way through the Luis Suarez saga, manager Brendan Rodgers must keep identifying potential replacements for the star striker.
One player capable of making an immediate impact is Roberto Soldado.
The Reds have added the Valencia striker to their target list should Suarez move to another club, according to the Telegraph. They would be in direct competition with Premier League rival Tottenham for his signature.
And with it looking increasingly likely that Suarez will leave Anfield this summer, Liverpool have turned their attention to Soldado - placing them in a straight shoot-out with Tottenham for the Spain international's signature.
Spurs have been linked with Soldado ever since the transfer window opened but have stalled over his £26 million asking price, despite sending technical director Franco Baldini over to Spain to iron out a deal.
Even though Liverpool have publicly insisted (via ESPN) that they have no plans to sell Suarez, that hasn't stopped the rumors and speculation from linking him to other clubs. The ongoing situation is starting to become a distraction as the Reds prepare for the new season.
Speaking at a press conference in Bangkok, where Liverpool are preparing for Sunday’s friendly against Thailand, [Ian] Ayre said: "It’s never been our intention to sell Luis. We've received 2 separate offers from Arsenal and rejected both."
Keeping Suarez in the fold is obviously the preferred scenario. He's a vital piece of the club's attack, and replacing him would be an uphill battle. Whether he ends up staying at Anfield remains unclear, however, and Liverpool needs to prepare in case he exits.
Soldado is an intriguing option.
The 28-year-old Spanish international ranked fifth in La Liga with 24 goals last season. The only players to finish ahead of him were Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Radamel Falcao and Alvaro Negredo. Select company to say the least.
Having such a high level of success in one of Europe's top leagues bodes well for a potential move to the Premier League. The veteran would be ready for the level of competition and physical nature of play without needing a transition phase.
The other positive from his time with Valencia is that he's learned what it's like to lead an attack. Often, players are secondary options for other squads and then are expected to take on a bigger role after a move. It can lead to disappointing results.
Would Soldado be a good Suarez replacement?
Soldado led the Valencia attack last season and never backed down from the pressure. He kept producing at a high level throughout the campaign.
At Liverpool, he would receive support from Daniel Sturridge, Iago Aspas and longtime Reds star Steven Gerrard, among others. But he'd still be expected to play a pivotal role on the attack, filling the void which would be left by Suarez.
Although he probably doesn't match the Uruguayan international's natural finishing ability, he's confident in front of goal, holds the ball well in the attacking third and has a good work rate.
The one thing Liverpool can't allow to happen is letting Suarez get away without landing a replacement before the transfer window closes. That's why it's so important for Rodgers to keep several strikers on the radar until the saga plays itself out.
Soldado should be near the top of his list.
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