Liverpool may have missed out on the January signing of Yevhen Konoplyanka,1 but reports since then suggest that a summer move to Anfield for the Ukrainian should be expected.
The Telegraph's Dan Lucas quotes Dnipro director Andriy Rusol claiming that he is "1000 per cent sure that Liverpool will attempt to buy Yevhen [Konoplyanka] again in the summer."
Indeed, manager Brendan Rodgers alluded to a summer move for the 24-year-old shortly after the proposed January deal collapsed.
“I feel really sorry for the player because he was obviously desperate to come but it’s gone now and we will review it in the summer," Rodgers explained, as quoted by The Liverpool Echo.
With that in mind, here's a look at why a summer move for Konoplyanka still makes sense for Liverpool.
With the player seemingly happy to move to Merseyside, the hard work is essentially already done. Plus Dnipro appear happy for a renewed bid to arrive. The deal should be straightforward.
“There is obviously going to be a greater market to look at then but it wouldn’t stop us,” said Rodgers about a potential summer move—that greater market means Liverpool could actually end up paying less than the reported £12 million fee that was being discussed in January.
Something worth noting, we are very likely to be back for Konoplyanka in the summer & possibly at a cheaper price. #LFC— Karl (@Karlton81) February 12, 2014
According to the reliable Transfermarkt website, the summer would also see Konoplyanka have only a year remaining on his contract and thus his value will be lower for Dnipro.
Liverpool could get a very good player for good value for money.
Hopefully by the summer Liverpool will be back among Europe's elite sides by qualifying for the Champions League. That means any doubts the player may have over a move will be removed by the opportunity to play at the highest level.
Even if the scenario occurs that Liverpool miss out on Champions League, they look certain to be in the Europa League at least.
Being back in Europe will also mean Liverpool will require a larger squad. This season without European competition they've been able to work with a small squad, but that won't be an option with the extra games and less recovery times.
Options and Competition
Then there are the other reasons that remain from why a January move made sense too, most notably having depth and options in all areas of the squad to create competition for places.
At the moment we've seen Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge interchange positions between the central forward and one of the wide areas in Brendan Rodgers' front three, with Raheem Sterling the third forward.
That trio is performing incredibly, but having options from the bench, competition for starting places and the option to rotate players as required would be hugely beneficial.
It was an admirable move by Rodgers to hand Joao Carlos Teixeira his debut at Craven Cottage, replacing Sterling on the left, but perhaps the manager would have preferred to have had Konoplyanka as his option from the bench.
Sterling is still only a teenager and his development needs to be handled with care, not overusing him and becoming overly reliant upon him.
A strong squad with options is healthy for everybody involved.
For instance, Sunday's FA Cup tie at Arsenal could see Rodgers rest either of Suarez, Sturridge or Sterling and bring in Konoplyanka instead, hardly a downgrade on the starting XI and having the rested player available from the bench. That's the kind of options Rodgers is looking to have in his third season at the club.
Konoplyanka is another player who is versatile, offering pace and power in both wide areas. He seems to tick all the boxes, and Liverpool will be able to watch him closely over the coming months before a potential summer move.