Could Liverpool's front office consider Wolfsburg's Croatian international Ivan Perisic as a transfer alternative?
To cover that scenario, here is a scouting report on Perisic, a 25-year-old 6'2", 179-pound Croatian footballer, who is aiming to impress at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Perisic can interchange flanks as he is a two-footed player, who confidently controls the ball, passes and shoots with both feet.
Put through on goal, Perisic casually dinked the ball over FC Nurnberg goalkeeper Raphael Schafer.
That was the left foot, Perisic then made a curled run behind FC Nurnberg's defence and poached a goal with his right foot.
On the left wing, Perisic is a menace for opposing defenders.
This was demonstrated when he deceived Schalke centre-back Felipe Santana with a brisk step-over, shot at goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, who palmed the ball into the path of Wolfsburg utility player Maximilian Arnold for a tap-in.
Perisic raced past Hoffenheim defensive midfielder Sebastian Rudy, scanned the field for Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost and delivered a quintessential left-footed inswinging cross.
Perisic flew down the left wing and squared the ball for Dost, who placed the ball past Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
When switched to the right side, Perisic blind-sided Werder Bremen centre-back Luca Caldirola, and sent in a cross for Wolfsburg centre-forward Ivica Olic to head home.
Perisic, like Lallana, is two-footed and can produce a similar attacking output.
|League Only||Adam Lallana||Ivan Perisic|
|Shots Per Goal||7.8||7.1|
|Key Passes Per Game||1.9||0.9|
|Dribbles Per Game||1.8||1.4|
A bonus to Perisic's playing style is his willingness to throw himself into aerial duels, as he demonstrated when he beat Borussia Monchengladbach's 6'3", 183-pound centre-back Martin Stranzl to the ball.
|Headers Won||Headers Contested||Headers Won %|
Talent was not the issue, it was his attitude and his opining on Jurgen Klopp which became a side story.
"To voice your criticism in public is [what you do in] kindergarten, you shouldn't do that [as a pro]," Klopp said in 2012, per Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC. "An old teammate of mine once said: 'Nobody has ever talked his way into the team'."
Perisic did not buy into Klopp, unlike Erik Durm, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Kevin Grosskreutz and Milos Jojic, players who will sacrifice for the benefit of the team.
If Perisic was to join Liverpool, his individualistic mentality could be a roadblock in his relationship with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
Perisic's biggest problem is consistency:
- He scored two goals in his first 11 league games for Wolfsburg.
- Last season, he had a seven-game run, a six-game run and a five-game run without a goal or an assist.
Eight of Perisic's 10 goals came in the last three months of the season, so he was missing in action throughout the first half of the campaign.
Perisic needs to improve his pass-completion percentage (71.3) because it is 12.7 percent below the Liverpool average (84).
Lallana is not a £25 million footballer, and Perisic would be a cheaper acquisition.
Perisic possesses size, he is two-footed, technically excellent and has the quality to be a Liverpool player.
However, his past failure at Dortmund and his inability to listen to Klopp are red flags.
Statistics via WhoScored.com