Liverpool are targeting Southampton's 25-year-old England international midfielder Adam Lallana in the summer transfer window, per Henry Winter at The Telegraph, but one suggested transfer alternative is Evian Thonon Gaillard utility player Daniel Wass.
Here is a scouting report on the 24-year-old Denmark international.
Lallana Another Stewart Downing?
What separates Lallana from Downing is how they play.
Downing is a limited player with two modes of operation: crossing (he leads the Premier League in crosses per game with 2.5) and cutting in to shoot.
Meanwhile, Lallana is technically brilliant, two-footed, can create goals (six assists), score (nine goals) and offers more unpredictability on the ball than Downing (no goals, two assists) in league play this season.
"I've never been blessed with out-and-out pace or power so the technical side is a big part of my game," Lallana said, per Neil Ashton at the Daily Mail. "People say I've got a continental style but I just try to be myself."
Lallana is able to play on the right, centre and left.
At 25 years of age, he is hitting his peak and fits what Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers sees in a footballer.
What is Lallana's worth?
Lallana is a Professional Footballers' Association Premier League Team of the Year member.
|League Only||Downing (2010-11)||Lallana (2013-14)|
|Goals Per Game||0.18||0.25|
|Shots Per Goal||14||7.3|
|Key Passes Per Game||2.2||1.9|
|Dribbles Per Game||0.7||1.9|
That would be an excessive valuation as Lallana is likely to be part of Liverpool's midfield rotation rather than being the star midfielder.
If Liverpool need a cheaper alternative, management should consider Wass of Evian.
Wass is a 5'11", 163-pound player who brings courage, versatility and footballing smarts to the table.
He has played various roles in a 4-3-3 and a 4-4-2, formations Rodgers has utilised this season.
- Right-back in a 4-3-3.
- Right winger in a 4-4-2.
- Left winger in a 4-4-2.
- Central midfield in a 4-3-3.
- Right forward in a 4-3-3.
- Left forward in a 4-3-3.
Wass has won back the ball 119 times while only giving away 17 free-kicks, therefore his defensive efficiency is excellent.
The reason why he has been moved upfield is his high level of awareness in the attacking half.
In a play against Lorient, he correctly anticipated Evian right-back Kassim Abdallah sending a cross to the far post.
Instead of charging forward, Wass re-adjusted his route, made a curled run behind Lorient's defence and diverted the ball past Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard unmarked.
With the ball, Wass is a crafty operator generally gunning for a home run play.
He gashed Lyon's defence with an incisive pass to Evian centre-forward Kevin Berigaud.
Against Ajaccio, Wass had the presence of mind and the deft touch to back-heel the ball into Berigaud's path, who then blasted the ball past Ajaccio keeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Wass accumulated four key passes (a pass that leads to a goal-scoring opportunity) against Rennes.
Wass is a world-class free-kick taker, and he has two styles:
- Side-foot (against Nantes and Montpellier).
- A modification of Juninho Pernambucano's knuckleball technique (against Bastia and Lorient).
What is Wass' primary problem?
He is a highlight-reel passer and gives away the ball 28 percent of the time.
His pass completion percentage (72) is 12.2 percent lower than the Liverpool average (84.2).
Another concern is Wass lacking an extensive body of work at the top-flight level (You can say the same about Lallana.).
Wass' primary advantage is that he can play at right-back, across midfield and as a wide forward.
Also, given his lack of exposure at the international level and Evian being a minnow club, he will be cheap like Mohammed Rabiu.
Rabiu is an athletic, up-tempo and muscular Ghanaian international midfielder with significant upside who was sold to Kuban Krasnodar (2013; £2.1 million).
Wass plugs more positions than Lallana and will be a cost-effective transfer alternative if Liverpool fail to sign the Southampton midfielder.
Statistics via WhoScored.com