If David Maddock of the Mirror is to be believed, Liverpool are lining up a £5 million move for Barcelona outcast Bojan Krkic, an unraveling transfer story with echoes of Philippe Coutinho’s move to the Reds in January 2013.
Krkic is a player who has struggled to live up to the high-pressure expectations that have followed his big-money moves around Europe.
But he has struggled to break through the psychological barrier that comes from the pressure piled onto signings to perform instantly in modern football.
Krkic is crying out for a club and manager to instil confidence in him and help him mentally find his form again.
Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool can do just that. He has created a template at Anfield based on a footballing ideology from which players can improve themselves, be supported and benefit from self-reflection.
When Brazilian Coutinho arrived from Inter Milan last January, he had lost his way slightly in the relentless and unforgiving Serie A.
Having arrived at the San Siro from Vasco da Gama in 2010 with much promise, the young Coutinho failed to impress consistently, eventually being sent on loan to Espanyol in 2012.
When Rodgers signed him at the cut-price of £8.5 million, fresh hope and confidence was instilled in the Reds’ No. 10.
The rest is history. 21-year-old Coutinho is now a staple of Liverpool’s first team, and key contributor to their exciting attacking threat that has seen them score more goals than any other side in the Premier League this season.
It’s a similar story for Krkic—setting the world alight with excellent performances for Barcelona between 2007-2011, then failing to live up to the hype at Roma, enduring a muted loan spell at Milan, and finally re-signing for Barcelona and immediately being sent on loan to Ajax this season.
It seems to be a case of unhappiness with Krkic. Despite several moves in several leagues, he’s not been able to find the same form that he started his career at the Nou Camp so brightly with.
Coutinho’s case at Liverpool is not a one-off. Daniel Sturridge rejuvenated his career under the guidance of Rodgers, Jordan Henderson looks like a new man and Luis Suarez has continued his evolution.
Krkic may well need a Rodgers-type figure to pick him up whilst he’s down, and at £5 million Liverpool could have themselves a bargain.
In return, Liverpool are taking a gamble on a player who, still only 23, has shown the potential to be world-class.
Able to play up front and in the hole (a position Coutinho has made his own in recent weeks), Krkic’s versatility could prove very useful in the Liverpool squad for next season.
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