Chelsea winger Willian has claimed that Shakhtar Donetsk’s decision to sell reported Liverpool target Alex Teixeira to Jiangsu Suning will do little to enrich his chances of turning out for the national side.
The Reds were linked with a big-money move for the Brazilian during the January transfer window, but the two clubs were unable to agree on a fee before the deadline, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo. After the window shut for the Premier League, Teixeira was signed up by the Chinese Super League club in a £38.4 million deal.
In an exclusive interview with Squawka’s Greg Johnson, Willian wished his compatriot and former team-mate well for the future but admitted he was concerned about his Selecao chances:
I wish him all the best in China. I’m sure that the financial aspect was crucial for his decision.
He’s a very good player and could easily adapt to English football. I’d personally be happy if he’d come to the Premier League or even to another big European club. As it would increases his chances to play for Selecao.
They prefer to sell to small clubs that can afford a higher fee than selling them to traditional clubs that wouldn’t pay the same amount of money. That’s the case for Teixeira, and it has also happened with me.
I know myself how difficult it is to negotiate with Shakhtar Donetsk. I suffered for two years there willing to leave the club.
The Reds will be disappointed by Teixeira's decision, since the 26-year-old seemed to possess all the qualities needed to be a big hit in English football. Here is a look at why the Reds were keen on landing him during the midseason window:
Despite shining for Shakhtar both domestically and in the UEFA Champions League, Teixeira has never been called up by Brazil. Admittedly, with players such as Neymar, Lucas Moura, Douglas Costa, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Willian himself vying for spots in attacking midfield positions, it’s tough to get in the squad.
However, there’s no denying that had Teixeira been playing in a top European league on a regular basis, he would have stood a much greater chance of getting involved. The Brazil Stats Twitter feed thinks the move is a blow to the national side:
Gil, Renato Augusto, Goulart, Elkeson, Teixeira etc. It's not like Brazil's NT needed even more problems than we already have. Thanks China.— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) February 4, 2016
Still, ultimately, the final decision rests with the player. Teixeira will be handsomely paid for his time in the Chinese Super League, and as Willian notes, it’s likely that was a key factor in his decision-making process.
It was his choice to move to Jiangsu, and he’ll now most likely spend the peak years of his career with the club. Teixeira's bank balance will most likely be much better off, but Anfield would have surely been a grander stage to thrust himself into contention for an iconic yellow jersey.
Liverpool Target Javier Hernandez
Since leaving Manchester United in the summer, the Mexico international has been firing in the goals in the Bundesliga, netting 13 league goals in 17 appearances. According to the aforementioned report, the Reds’ German boss sees Hernandez as an ideal candidate to lead the attack.
Here is a look at some of the best moments of Hernandez’s stint in the Bundesliga after falling out of favour at Manchester United:
Although Hernandez may not be an ideal candidate to lead the line due to his lack of technical flair and small somatotype, he knows where the back of the net is. In the penalty area, the forward is one of the sharpest players around, with the manner in which he sniffs out chances almost telepathic.
As noted by the UEFA Europa League Twitter feed, his performances have seen the 27-year-old named as the best player in the German top flight for three successive months:
Hernandez’s links to Manchester United will be enough to put some Liverpool supporters off this deal immediately, but stylistically, Hernandez may be an ideal fit. Under Klopp, this is a team that will create a lot of chances, and if someone was in position to add the finishing touches, he’d get a lot of goals.
The Bayer forward could well be that man, but it’d still be a surprise to see him end up at Anfield. Leverkusen will not want to part ways with a player who has become so crucial since signing up, and if they were to consider selling, any potential buyer would surely have to part with a significant sum.