Scouting Report: Is Sofiane Feghouli Liverpool's Adam Lallana Alternative?

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Scouting Report: Is Sofiane Feghouli Liverpool's Adam Lallana Alternative?
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Could Valencia's Algerian international Sofiane Feghouli—a 24-year-old, 5'10", 157-pound right attacking midfielder—be Liverpool's transfer alternative to signing Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana?

To address that hypothetical, this article grades Feghouli's performance against Belgium at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and provides a scouting report on his season for Valencia.

 

Feghouli vs. Belgium Grade: B

Source: FIFA.com.

Starting on the right wing, Feghouli was up to his old tricks again.

Getting in front of Belgian left-back Jan VertonghenFeghouli throws himself to the ground and wins a cheap penalty in Algeria's 2-1 defeat to Belgium. 

Source: FIFA.com.

After demanding the ball, Feghouli calmly slots his spot-kick past Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, one of the best goalkeepers in the world. 

Source: FIFA.com.
Source: FIFA.com.

The reason why Feghouli did not receive a higher grade was he did not attack Vertonghen, a centre-back, who is vulnerable when shifted out to left-back. 

"I have grown in my game over the last year on the left flank," Vertonghen said, per Reuters (h/t The National). "I realise I'll never be the best left back in the world, but I can be of value for the team."

Feghouli only attempted 14 passes and was anonymous aside from his goal.  

 

Liverpool Signing Feghouli Positives

Feghouli enjoys upping the ante and running at opposing players.

He is a gung-ho charger, initiating contact from Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte to win a penalty, like the Vertonghen incident. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Cunning, slick and tricky are words to describe Feghouli, who is always looking to win calls from the referee, as illustrated by getting Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba sent off for a second yellow card. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Feghouli's best attribute is creating shots for his teammates, as evident against Barcelona.

Cutting to the byline, he delivered a precise low-cross to Valencia centre-forward Paco Alcacer, who scored. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Despite being a mercurial footballer who was not a week-in, week-out starter, Feghouli's statistics are comparable to Lallana's.

League Only Adam Lallana Sofiane Feghouli
     
Games Played 38 32
Games Started 37 22
Goals 9 4
Shots Per Goal 7.8 12.3
Assists 6 8
Key Passes Per Game 1.9 1.1
Pass Completion % 84.6 73.4
     

 

Liverpool Signing Feghouli Negatives

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Feghouli needs to become a more proficient finisher: He only scored four goals from 49 shots in La Liga.

Choking in front of goal against Rayo Vallecano captures his struggle in front of goal throughout the season. 

Having a 27 percent shooting accuracy and failing to convert 91 percent of goalscoring chances, per Squawka.com, is a red flag. 

Source: Squawka.com.

Lallana was an undisputed starter at Southampton, whereas Feghouli was an occasional starter/impact sub.

Source: Squawka.com.

Inconsistency was why Feghouli spent periods of the season on the bench. 

  • Two six-game runs with no goal or assist in La Liga.
  • Four-game run with no goal or assist in La Liga.

Hypothetically speaking, Liverpool will be receiving an even-keeled Lallana, but you cannot say the same thing about buying Feghouli, who is a mixed bag.

 

Bottom Line

Valencia are owned by Singaporean investor Peter Lim, who has a net worth of $2.5/€1.85/£1.47 billion, per Forbes, so management will not need to relinquish a world-class talent like Feghouli for economic reasons. 

This means Liverpool will need to push the envelope at the negotiation table, increasing the likelihood of an inflated transfer.

That said, if Lim and Valencia management are willing to accept a €10/£8 million bid for Feghouli, it would be a fairer deal compared to the proposed €31.3/£25 million transfer of Lallana, per James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com.

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