The timing couldn’t have been better for the roaming 24-hour football news streams; Yevhen Konoplyanka’s fine performance against Tottenham in the Europa League on Thursday night setting off the Liverpool social media frenzy once again.
It took some time for the fallout from Liverpool’s transfer deadline-day failure to sign the Dnipro winger to die down, but Liverpool’s good form on the pitch side-tracked fans, at least for a week or so.
But the 24-year-old’s exciting performance resumed grief and anxiety that Liverpool hadn’t landed a killer blow to sign Konoplyanka in January, especially among Liverpool’s following on Twitter:
Think we missed a massive trick not signing Konoplyanka in January. Top clubs will be sniffing around him in the summer.— Umer Yousuf (@Inzaghomaniac) February 21, 2014
Based on that performance by Yehven Konoplyanka , Ian Ayre missed out on a serious player .. Again! I hope we go for him in the summer— Liverpool Family (@lfc_family) February 21, 2014
Adding fuel to the fire was Metro’s Jamie Sanderson, who wrote on Friday that Liverpool sent their scouts to watch Konoplyanka in action against Spurs.
Indeed, Konoplyanka had a delightful game, running Tottenham’s defenders ragged—none more so than Kyle Naughton, who was left counting the number of rings the Ukrainian international had run round him.
But Konoplyanka’s performance against Tottenham is on the most part irrelevant to Liverpool fans.
If Liverpool fans are to take anything from the glimpse of their possible future winger, it is Konoplyanka’s professionalism in the aftermath of the deadline-day shenanigans. Here is a player who has not dwelled on the disappointment of the failed move and has focussed on the job he has in front of him: playing his best for Dnipro.
That is refreshing to see, not just from a Liverpool fan’s point of view, but a football fan’s too.
Jack Pitt-Brooke’s match report for the Independent picked up on this. Brooke wrote:
[Juande] Ramos, the former Tottenham manager, has seen enough of Konoplyanka’s recent efforts to be confident that he will continue to produce more of his idiosyncratic brilliance in the next few months.
It is little surprise that Dnipro are putting so much faith in Konoplyanka. He is not just their best player – leading the “Hero of the season” rankings on their website – but the most exciting talent to emerge from Ukraine since the generation of Andrei Shevchenko and Sergei Rebrov.
Even in a world of football media and discussion where demand for content massively outweighs the actual events, it is unhealthy for fans to pine for a player who may or may not eventually be signed at Anfield—especially at this stage of the season.
Liverpool have a brilliant attacking line-up right now in Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho, earning praise throughout the football world.
Brendan Rodgers’ Konoplyanka-less side have 12 games left to realise their best chance of Champions League qualification and possibly title chances since 2009.
It’s a very exciting time to be a Liverpool supporter. Rather than yearning for a signing that could have been, relish the moment, breathe it in, believe.