Adam Lallana's proposed summer transfer window move from Southampton to Liverpool "has reached an impasse," per the Liverpool Echo, so could Bayer Leverkusen's Karim Bellarabi be an alternative target?
Bellarabi meets Rodgers' preference for versatile footballers having played on the right wing, centrally and left wing at Eintracht Braunschweig.
- Right-forward in a 4-3-3.
- Left-winger in a 4-1-4-1.
- Deep-lying forward in a 4-4-2 diamond.
"They need to mentally have the attitude and the capacity to learn," Rodgers said, per Phil Reade at Liverpool's official website. "Our criteria that we look for is players with strong technique and football intelligence."
Bellarabi is a quick-twitched footballer with sleek technical ability.
Bamboozling Hamburg centre-back Heiko Westermann with a stop-start ball-roll is innate in Bellarabi's playing style.
He does not stop there.
He sizes up Hamburg defensive midfielder Tolgay Arslan, drags the ball back, accelerates away, lures Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler out and sets up Eintracht Braunschweig utility player Jan Hochscheidt for a goal.
When Bellarabi receives the ball, he artfully manoeuvres it away from Nuremberg centre-back Emanuel Pogatetz, spots then-Nuremberg (now Hertha Berlin) left-back Marvin Plattenhardt sneaking up and creates a goal for Eintracht Braunschweig right-winger Omar Elabdellaoui.
Bellarabi flicks the ball past Hannover 96 central midfielder Lars Stindl, takes Hannover centre-back Marcelo Guedes out of position and plays in Hochscheidt, who makes a run in behind Hannover right-back Frantisek Rajtoral.
Without the ball, Bellarabi frenetically pressurises opposing players. Then-Wolfsburg (now Mainz) utility player Koo Ja-cheol's pass is intercepted by Bellarabi, who immediately launches a counter-attack.
Bellarabi won back the ball 65 times in 26 Bundesliga games.
Bellarabi's slipshod shooting is a major concern.
This is evident when he kicks the ball straight at Nuremberg goalkeeper Raphael Schafer.
After creating space against Leverkusen, Bellarabi shoots over the crossbar.
Bellarabi scored three goals from 54 shots and failed to convert 92.9 percent of goalscoring chances, per Squawka.com.
Bellarabi's passing accuracy (70.6) is 13.4 percent below the Liverpool average (84).
He needs to either increase his assists count to justify his dicey passing, or be a more precise passer.
Bellarabi is like Granada left-forward Yacine Brahimi: an entertainer with world-class technique, but he lacks the end product.
Yacine Brahimi: Has dribbled past an opponent more times (162) than any other player in La Liga this season; Lionel Messi second (143)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 18, 2014
|League Only||Adam Lallana||Karim Bellarabi|
|Shots Per Goal||7.8||18|
|Key Passes Per Game||1.9||1.1|
|Pass Completion %||84.6||70.6|
|Dribbles Per Game||1.8||3.3|
Kämpfen für unser Ziel ! شجار للحصول على نقاط ! pic.twitter.com/DmCE3kdzO1— Karim Bellarabi (@KimoBellarabi) March 21, 2014
Bellarabi possesses pace, is a technician and is a more prolific dribbler than Lallana.
But Julian Brandt's ascension at Leverkusen and signing Josip Drmic from Nuremberg means Bellarabi could be on the chopping block at a reduced price.
Bellarabi would be a cheap transfer alternative to Lallana.
Statistics via WhoScored.com.