Why Liverpool Should Target Marco Reus as Next Transfer Move

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Why Liverpool Should Target Marco Reus as Next Transfer Move
Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, a record fee received for Liverpool Football Club, manager Brendan Rodgers now has big money to spend.

Tony Barrett of The Times writes that Rodgers "will be handed the full proceeds from Luis Suarez’s club-record sale to Barcelona to reinvest in his squad."

Despite reports from Spain claiming the fee is lower, the unanimous reports in British media suggest the fee for Suarez was £75 million, as per The IndependentGiven Barcelona's reporting of the Neymar fee last summer—as per Reuters—it's hardly best to believe the fee being pushed from the Catalan club to their journalists.

Regardless, the Suarez fee eclipses the previous record fee Liverpool had received, £50 million for Fernando Torres from Chelsea in 2011.

The question now is whether Liverpool will break their record fee spent—currently the £35 million on Andy Carroll the same day as Torres headed for Stamford Bridge.

 

Replacing Suarez

The departure of Suarez has seen a host of players being linked with a move to Anfield as some sort of replacement, something which is almost impossible given Suarez's unique attributes and ability.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Personally, calls from supporters wishing to sign a star name to replace Suarez are extremely questionable. Clearly Liverpool wanted to sign Alexis Sanchez, but he ended up at Arsenal. He would have been a very good replacement, given that he can play out wide in a front three, central forward or alongside another forward.

Alas, as demonstrated with the Sanchez deal and others last summer, big deals are difficult to pull off and despite being back in the Champions League after five years away Liverpool aren't quite seen as a guaranteed top European side yet. They need more than one year back among Europe's elite before a player sees them as such.

Therefore, while fans may crave a big-name signing, it could prove extremely difficult to acquire one. Not that there are many options anyway.

There are not many players who are worth spending big money on who aren't already playing at a top European club in the Champions League.

If the players aren't available, then there is no point spending big just to make a statement.


Reus

However, there is one player who could replace Suarez and would be worth spending big money—record-breaking money—for Liverpool: Marco Reus.

The 25-year-old missed Germany's victorious World Cup campaign through injury and has previously been linked with Barcelona. The Express claim Reus is furious that Barcelona opted for Suarez over him this summer, amidst interest from Manchester United too. 

Michael Probst/Associated Press

Dortmund have previously confirmed that the player has a release clause, as per Sky Sports. That clause is reported to become active next summer. However, having lost Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski in consecutive summers to rivals Bayern Munich, will Dortmund risk losing Reus the same way in 2015? Would they actually be better off getting a top price for the player now?

Note, Reus has not been linked with a move to Merseyside yet, except in a tenuous link via The Guardian's rumour mill on Monday. Alas, this article isn't about whether Liverpool will sign Reus, it's about why they should do all they can to attempt to sign him.

While a move to Liverpool may not prove possible, personally Reus is one of the few players capable of replacing Suarez at Anfield.

 

Qualities

Quite simply, Reus ticks all the boxes: capable of playing anywhere across the attack and used to playing within a similar system to Liverpool at Dortmund—high energy, pressing, dynamic.

While many are discussing how Liverpool will replace Suarez's 31 goals from last season, even without Suarez's goals Rodgers's side scored 70 Premier League goals—still the second most in the league. Concede a few less and add goals from midfield—see Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling—plus new signing Rickie Lambert, and those 30 goals aren't what are essential.

What is most difficult to replace is Suarez's creativity and work ethic in the final third. That's where Reus fits in.

See the comparison below, using Squawka's player comparison matrix:

via Squawka.com
Suarez (red), Reus (blue) 2013/14 Stats

Reus is one of the few players in Europe who can match Suarez for creativity, narrowly creating more chances and playing more key passes than Suarez in 2013/14. 

Interestingly, the German also had more assists and a slightly higher shot accuracy. The stats overall, though, are very similar. Of course, Suarez's 31 goals beats Reus' 16—but as discussed, Liverpool don't need to replace all those 31 goals.

For comparison, Manchester City's David Silva made 75 key passes and created 84 chances in 2013/14. Similar to Suarez and Reus.

There aren't any other players worth breaking Liverpool's record transfer fee for, but Reus would be. He also has Champions League experience and has only just turned 25, so he has many years ahead of him.

It may be unlikely, but Reus would replace Suarez nicely at Liverpool.

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