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Should Liverpool Target Wissam Ben Yedder After Loic Remy's Failed Medical?

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 27: Liverpool Coach Brendan Rodgers before the start of the match against the Olympiacos FC in the International Champions Cup 2014 on July 27, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images
Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentDecember 24, 2016

Loic Remy's proposed summer transfer from Queens Park Rangers to Liverpool has collapsed, so should Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers target Toulouse centre-forward Wissam Ben Yedder?

"The Echo understands there is no chance of the Remy deal being resurrected," per James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo. "Rodgers will now look at other striking targets." 

To cover the hypothetical scenario of Liverpool targeting Ben Yedder, here is a scouting report on the 23-year-old, 5'7", 150-pound Frenchman. 

 

Ben Yedder Positives

A quick-witted No. 9 with a copious amount of skill and speed, Ben Yedder is one of Ligue 1's premier centre-forwards. 

To counter Troyes centre-back Matthieu Saunier blocking a direct route to goal, Ben Yedder completed several express step-overs, went inside, cut outside and sneakily scored a near-post goal. 

Credit: Ligue1.com

Facing Reims centre-back Mickael TacalfredBen Yedder manoeuvred the ball inside, veered outside and slotted the ball past Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.

Credit: Ligue1.com

Sidestepping an onrushing Sochaux central midfielder Joseph LopyBen Yedder wrong-footed Sochaux goalkeeper Simon Pouplin.

Credit: Ligue1.com

Shot-faking then-Montpellier (now Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz) centre-back Teddy MezagueBen Yedder sauntered away from the off-balanced defender and finished past Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren.

Credit: Ligue1.com

What makes Ben Yedder a sharpshooter is that he scores goals from a multitude of situations:

  • Right-footed volley vs. Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Left-footed inswinging shot vs. Stade Brestois.
  • Header vs. Nice.

Credit: Ligue1.com

Credit: Ligue1.com

Credit: Ligue1.com

Credit: Ligue1.com

 

Ben Yedder Negatives

League OnlyLoic RemyWissam Ben Yedder
Goals/Games14/2616/38
Shots Per Goal6.45.4
Assists35
Key Passes Per Game1.21.0
Dribbles Per Game1.10.4

Credit: Squawka.com

Ben Yedder does not have a sizeable statistical advantage over Remy, whose goals scored and key passes per 90 minutes last season were superior, per Squawka.com.

Remy has played a combined 40 Premier League games for QPR and Newcastle United (loan), so he is acclimatised to England.

Meanwhile, Ben Yedder is an unknown quantity.

The worst-case scenario is him struggling in the Premier League like two-time Ligue 1 Golden Boot recipient Stephane Guivarc'h, who flopped at Newcastle. 

Consistency is Ben Yedder's primary issue. 

Dominant hat-tricks against Sochaux and Valenciennes last season covered a six-game and two four-game scoreless runs in Ligue 1. 

During the 2012-13 season, Ben Yedder endured a 13-game run without a league goal.

From a personality perspective, Ben Yedder has a red flag on his record, per Fabien Perrin at ESPN FC

[Yann] M'Vila and team-mates Chris Mavinga, Wissam Ben Yedder, Antoine Griezmann, and Mbaye Niang were charged [by the French Football Federation] after reports emerged they were seen in a Paris nightclub 48 hours before the second leg of their 2013 European Championship play-off against Norway.

...

[The] FFF has turned its attention to the players, who reportedly booked taxis for the 200-kilometre journey from their training camp to the capital before returning the following morning.

 

Bottom Line

QPR manager Harry Redknapp is unsettled by claims of Remy failing his medical at Liverpool.

"He's [Remy has] never had a problem with his fitness," Redknapp said, per Matt Law at The Telegraph. "It's not fair [to say Remy failed a medical]. It must be a breakdown or Liverpool have changed their mind." 

Saying "never" is hyperbolic from Redknapp, but remember he is protecting Remy, who is an asset to QPR.

Aside from various muscle injuries in recent years, Remy has a heart defect. 

This was discovered in 2010 when he was at Marseille, per Sky Sports.  It was well-documented having been covered by many media outlets including Reuters.

Credit: Reuters.com

What probably transpired was Liverpool's medical team informed the front office of Remy's medical baggage.

In response, Liverpool leveraged Remy to renegotiate his salary.

He refused and it led to what Rodgers described as "unfortunate for the player," per Dominic King at the Daily Mail

This has happened before under Liverpool owner John W Henry's leadership, albeit in a different sport. 

First baseman Mike Napoli lost $34 million due to a failed medical, per ESPN

Mike Napoli will sign a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

Napoli's contract is for one year with a base salary of $5 million, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney.

...

The deal comes more than six weeks after Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with Boston.

That deal was taken off the table when Napoli, in the judgement of the team's medical staff, failed his physical.

Ben Yedder is an ideal alternative to Remy.

Not only is Ben Yedder, 23, four years younger, but he has posted back-to-back seasons of 15 league goals or more. 

A fleet-footed, all-round finisher who is a game-changing impact player, Ben Yedder is a Rodgers-type centre-forward.

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com

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