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Liverpool Transfer News: Reds Wasting Time Chasing Mathieu Valbuena

LILLE, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03:  Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille in action during the Ligue 1 match between LOSC Lille and Olympique de Marseille held at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on December 3, 2013 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Jason PettigroveContributor INovember 20, 2016

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers would do well to divert his attention away from Marseille's Mathieu Valbuena.

According to Paul Gorst of the Daily Mirror, the Reds were believed to be interested in the player's acquisition back in January. Now, Valbuena himself has hinted that he may be looking for a new challenge:

A departure? To discover something else next season could be interesting.

It's been eight years since I am here at l'OM. I've never hidden that an experience abroad tempts me. We'll see.

The interest in the 29-year-old represents an interesting departure for Rodgers, who is known for his love of young and hungry footballers. Valbuena's best days are behind him, even if he represents an experienced head.

Per WhoScored.com, the attacking midfielder has just two goals and five assists to his name in his 26 appearances this season.

Compare that to the exciting 19-year-old Raheem Sterling, who has six goals and three assists in his 25 games, per WhoScored.com.

Breaking down the components of his game, there are already enough players at Anfield with the same skill set—rendering a purchase unnecessary.

Patrick Haond of Sky Sports notes Valbuena's attributes as "his pace and tenacious nature."

Arguably, there is more than enough pace throughout this Liverpool side already, as has been demonstrated time and again this season.

And to look too much further than Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez for tenacity is folly.

In fact, the Frenchman's record in the tackle would appear to indicate that he isn't actually that tenacious at all.

According to Squawka.com, Valbuena has won just 33 percent of his attempted challenges on the deck and 23 percent aerially.

A reasonable guide as to what sort of influence Valbuena can provide was given when the French side played against Belgium in an international friendly at the start of the season.

The diminutive midfielder was constantly bullied off the ball by the likes of Marouane Fellaini and the equally-fearsome Vincent Kompany, and he had no effect on the match.

Thom Drake of the Daily Mail described the matchup as like "men against boys," and these are precisely the sort of physical and imposing players that Valbuena will have to face up to each and every week in the Premier League.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 14:  Axel Witsel of Belgium runs with the ball during the International friendly match between Belgium and France at the King Baudouin Stadium on August 14, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

To hammer home the point that Rodgers shouldn't waste his time and effort pursuing Valbuena's signature, one of the key features of Liverpool's success this campaign is the hard-work ethic of the entire side from front to back. Attack as one, defend as a unit.

With April only a week away, Valbuena's Squawka stats show that he has completed just one single defensive action across the entire season.

It's hard to imagine that his acquisition will improve Rodgers' side or represent value for money to the studious Liverpool board.

Steer well clear.

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