Liverpool Transfer News: Yevhen Konoplyanka Would Electrify Anfield

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2014

Dnipro's Yevhen Konoplyanka celebrates after scoring against Fiorentina during their Europa League Group E soccer match at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

Liverpool's search for winter reinforcements has led them to the possibility of signing Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, with talks alleged to have already begun between the two clubs.

Speaking to Ukrainian outlet Tribuna (h/t Irish Independent), Konoplyanka's father Oleg is reported as talking up a move to Anfield for his son:

"I do not want to say specifically but the information about a transfer to the English club is true. He can change club later this week. We do not consider offers from Ukraine."

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

The January transfer window slams shut on Friday (Jan. 31), and with Brendan Rodgers' side yet to conclude any winter business, the player's acquisition could yet bring a positive ending to the period.

Konoplyanka has been a staple in Dnipropetrovsk since 2009, graduating from Dnipro's youth ranks originally as a more central asset before going on to produce his best form from the flank.

Rodgers' need for better options out wide were thought to have been solved with the signing of Basel's Mohamed Salah, but Chelsea ensured that the Merseysiders were left disappointed in that chase, per The Guardian's Andy Hunter.

Konoplyanka serves as an easy transition of targets in that sense, able to play off either wing, although his best results undoubtedly come from playing on the left side of a creative three.

Another similarity that versatility lends to the 24-year-old is the ability to play through the middle, serving as an intermediary between midfield and attack, the likes of which Philippe Coutinho has provided in the 12 months he's been at the club.

For Liverpool, though, it would just be pleasing to have another quality talent to call upon out wide, with Rodgers having to settle for a lack of depth in "true wingers" of late.

So shallow are the squad's experienced resources in this area of the pitch that Victor Moses and Raheem Sterling have emerged as two of the more recognised faces, Jordan Henderson and Coutinho doing their bit on the wings, too.

This season, Konoplyanka has scored nine goals and made six assists in his 19 starts for Dnipro across all competitions, per Transfermarkt.

WhoScored show just how well the player has shown up against Europe's other big guns this season:

The speedster has also grown to become a very established part of the Ukrainian national team, only further lending itself to the case for Liverpool signing a player who isn't lacking in terms of playing pedigree, despite still being of a young age.

Konoplyanka's penchant for scoring is also of great benefit to strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, who have had to shoulder the club's scoring burdens so much over the last year, his play being of so much more than just providing ammunition from out wide.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Rodgers will be hoping for more success out of this Eastern European asset than the Reds' last Ukrainian investment, Andriy Voronin, who won't be remembered as the savviest use of Liverpool funds from his three years at Anfield.

In Konoplyanka, the club have a far more promising prospect, whose natural wing style of approach would fit in well with Rodgers' setup, leaving few question marks over his potential arrival.