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Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Salomon Kalou Would Be Major Mistake for Reds

LILLE, FRANCE - MARCH 03:  Dit Henrique of Bordeaux battles with Salomon Kalou of Lille during the Ligue 1 match between LOSC Lille Metropole v FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Grand Stade Lille-Metropole on March 3, 2013 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured Columnist IVAugust 17, 2016

Salomon Kalou could be closing in on a return to the English top flight after it was reported that Liverpool are interested in signing the Lille forward.

The 28-year-old spent six years at Chelsea between 2006 and 2012, but fell out of favour in his last season at the club and was allowed to leave for Ligue 1 on a free transfer. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 14: Jesus Zavala #17 of Mexico fights for the ball with Salomon Kalou #8 of Ivory Coast during their match at MetLife Stadium on August 14, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

However, while Kalou's return to England could represent a cut-price opportunity for some clubs, Brendan Rodgers' side should steer clear and instead divert their attention—and funds—toward a more appropriate asset.

The Mirror alleges that the Ivory Coast international could be picked up for as little as £2.5 million, saying:

Former Chelsea forward Kalou, 28, is at Lille but has already had interest from Liverpool and Tottenham while Arsenal have been sounded out.

Roma and Besiktas have also been on the Ivory Coast international but his preferred destination is England.

Last season, Kalou had an impressive maiden campaign in the French top flight, scoring 14 goals and making five assists for Rudi Garcia's team, per Transfermarkt.co.uk.

As WhoScored.com showed at the time, this was the player's brightest patch in front of goal for some time:

However, despite being handed equal prominence within the squad under Rene Girard, the attacker has quickly gone off the boil this term.

One would have to think Kalou's drop in standards is at least part of the reason that Lille are so willing to sell off their asset. He is therefore a player currently in decline, making him a gamble for prospective employers.

Although Rodgers' side are in need of more experience in attack and—more specifically—on the wings, it's important that the Liverpool boss perseveres with his current policy of purchasing young players who are already of a quality that ensures their influence on the squad will be felt.

The 2013 acquisitions of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho are perfect examples of this strategy working to good effect, while the coup of 23-year-old Mamadou Sakho would fit into the same bracket.

Kalou has operated mainly as a striker at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, the position he at times struggled to hold down at Stamford Bridge. He would likely find his path similarly obstructed by Sturridge and Luis Suarez at Anfield.

It's unlikely that the forward would be completely comfortable with the idea of riding the bench, considering his next move, at the age of 28, may be his last.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Manager of Liverpool Brendan Rodgers looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Kalou would therefore be left settling for a spot out wide once again, but even then one might argue that the Ivorian wouldn't be much of an upgrade to the squad, which would be better served giving Raheem Sterling his chances in the first team.

Though it may be Premier League football that Kalou seeks, Liverpool shouldn't be the ones to give it to him.

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