Scouting Report: Should Liverpool Be Targeting Valencia's Dani Parejo?

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Scouting Report: Should Liverpool Be Targeting Valencia's Dani Parejo?
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

One of Liverpool's summer transfer targets is Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo, per Superdeporte (h/t Inside Spanish Football), so here is a scouting report on the 5'11", 24-year-old Spaniard.

 

Positives

Parejo is an all-round midfielder who has been deployed in the No. 6 and No. 10 position by Valencia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi.

Source: Marca

Parejo is an intuitive right-footed passer, as was evident when he was involved in a well-worked combination with Dorlan Pabon, who scored in Valencia's 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad.

Source: LigaBBVA.com

Parejo's goal in Valencia's 3-2 win against Barcelona came via a one-two with Sofiane Feghouli, an example that shows good movement off the ball and sharp passing. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com

Parejo's superb linkup play is enhanced by his metronomic short-to-intermediate passing.

If you take out crosses and long passes, his 87.6 pass completion percentage rises to 93.8.

He keeps play moving on for Valencia with 61.2 passes per game, and when asked to create from deep, he is a reliable facilitator (94 completions from 113 attempts). 

He tends to make incisive diagonal passes, which can open up play.

Source: LigaBBVA.com

Parejo averages 2.1 key passes per game (a pass that leads to a shot), which is more productive than Koke (Atletico Madrid, 2.0), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona, 1.8), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool, 1.8) and Luka Modric (Real Madrid, 1.6).

Parejo is light on his feet, allowing him to evade tackles and extend plays. 

Granada central midfielders Mohammed Fatau and Manuel Iturra failed in succession to win the ball from Parejo

Source: LigaBBVA.com

Parejo's primary strength is his set piece proficiency.

While he did hit a dipping free-kick past Osasuna goalkeeper Asier Riesgo, Parejo is more of a threat when sending in crosses from free-kicks and corners.

Source: LigaBBVA.com

Centre-backs Ricardo Costa (in a 4-1 defeat to Villarreal) and Ruben Vezo (in a 2-1 win over Granada) have cashed in on Parejo's elite set pieces in the current campaign.

Source: LigaBBVA.com
Source: LigaBBVA.com

Parejo is a solid contributor in winning back the ball: 49 tackles and 21 interceptions in 19 La Liga games this season.

It was him coming out on top in a 50-50 challenge that eventuated in Valencia's first goal against Barca.

Source: LigaBBVA.com

 

Negatives

Parejo's £20 million valuation, per Paul Gorst at the Mirror, is an obscenely inflated number.

Do you know who averages the second-most passes per game in La Liga? 

It is Roberto Trashorras, a former Barcelona player, with 77.2 passes per game, and he plays for 19th-placed Rayo Vallecano

If you have been tuning in to watch Granada because of Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori, you must have noticed his teammate, Fran Rico, a former Real Madrid Castilla player, who is only 0.1 key passes per game behind (2.0) Parejo (2.1). 

Swansea City signed Jose Canas (62.2 passes per game, 90.7 pass completion percentage) from Real Betis (42.5 passes per game, 80.3 pass completion percentage) on a free transfer.

Canas upped his passes per game by 20 and his pass completion percentage by 10.4. 

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

What's your point? There are plenty of ball-dominant midfielders in La Liga. 

Is Parejo a world-class midfielder? No, therefore he is not worth £20 million

He is an above-average player, who is finally living up to the billing having been a former Real Madrid player. Just because Parejo is a nameable player does not mean he is the best transfer option for Liverpool. 

If Valencia play hard ball and inflate his transfer stock as they did with Gaizka Mendieta and Gerard, Liverpool should rule out Parejo, who does not have the same upside of David Silva or Juan Mata when they transferred to the Premier League. 

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.

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