Liverpool Transfer Options: 10 Potential Targets from North and South America
The article seemed to be pretty well received so I thought I'd start a little series listing 10 players from different parts of the world that could be potential targets for Liverpool.
At the request of a reader of the last article I decided that this time I would do a run down of ten potential signings from North and South America.
Originally I was going to do 10 players from each continent, but I simply couldn't come up with 10 North American players that I could make an argument for Liverpool signing. Well I could make an argument, readers of my articles and comments will know that I can make an argument out of just about anything. I just couldn't make an argument that I would believe in.
So I decided to combine the two, and before you read on I must be honest, the final list is a pretty South American heavy.
Any Canadian readers hoping to see me list one of your countrymen will be sorely disappointed because the best Canadian players play in Europe, and the best you've ever produced decided to play for England instead of Canada.
I've focused on attacking talents for this piece because I prefer my defenders to be European except in certain special circumstances and the only South American defenders that have caught my eye over the couple of years are Sebastian Coates who already plays for Liverpool and the fantastic Brazilian fullbacks Danilo and Alex Sandro, both of whom have already been snapped up by FC Porto.
I've tried to keep the list realistic, therefore anyone looking to see Neymar's name will, like the Canadians, be disappointed. Even without him and his funky hairdo, there's still an impressive list of talent on the following slides.
I hope you enjoy.
1. Brek Shea
Club: FC Dallas
Country: United States of America
Before I start, just have a look at the goal he scores at 35 seconds in the video. Who does he remind you of?
Brek Shea is, depending on who you ask, an attacking midfield, a winger or a striker. Actually he's been deployed in central midfield and at centre back as well, which to me seems like a huge waste of his talent although it does display staggering versatility.
For me though, he belongs in a No. 9 jersey playing as a centre forward. He has all the tools to play that role and to become a major star doing it. He's strong, quick, has an excellent first touch, he's excellent in the air and his finishing ability is pretty impressive.
I have honestly never seen a better American soccer player at the same age as Brek Shea and I feel he's ready to make a move to Europe. He's got a lot of developing to do, but the natural talent is there. He would make an excellent addition for Liverpool and could be an ideal replacement for Dirk Kuyt if the Reds do decide to sell him
Oh, and if you haven't guessed by now, the answer I was looking for at the top of this slide was Fernando Torres.
2. Juan Agudelo
Club: New York Red Bulls
Country: United States of America
When Brek Shea eventually becomes the regular No. 9 for the Unites States national team, I think that it's pretty much set in stone who his partner will be. Juan Sebastian Agudelo.
Born in Colombia, Agudelo moved to the States with his parents as a child and has become somewhat of a sensation. Now usually, I tend to back away from American strikers who are hyped the way he is being hyped. They usually turn out to be major disappointments. Just ask take a look at Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore, although I still have hope that both of them can fulfil at least part of their vast potential.
Personally I think Agudelo is a better prospect than either of those were. He combines the work ethic that has long been a staple of professional athletes in America with the latino flair that is ensconced in his genes to make himself a truly special talent.
Unlike Shea, I don't think Agudelo is quite ready for a move abroad just yet. Altidore and Adu both moved too young and it's had devastating effects on their progression. I believe Agudelo needs to stay with the Red Bulls for another two to three seasons before he packs his bags for bigger and better things.
That does not mean that Liverpool should not be keeping a close eye on him though. The possibility exists of a sign and multi-year loan back. Buying him now would likely save millions in the future and with Liverpool's new ethos being to keep one eye on the long term, Agudelo is definitely a player well suited to the masterplan.
3. Marco Antonio Bueno Ontiveros
Club: C.F. Pachuca
This was a pretty obvious one. He was on trial at Liverpool during the summer and it's believed the club were very impressed. There have been some reports that a contract has been agreed and that he will join when he turns 18. If that is not the case, then it should be.
For those who aren't aware of him, Bueno is a striker and touted as the hottest property in Mexico. A natural goalscorer he has drawn comparisons with Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez but those are lazy comparisons.
While part of his game is based on quick and clever movement and a wonderful habit of being in the right place at the right time, he's got far more all round ability than his compatriot and can involve himself in the play anywhere on the pitch, rather than just in the 18 yard box.
Interest little fact, his hero is Fernando Torres.
Unfortunately I couldn't find a video of Bueno playing to share with you, so instead it's some Mexican chap chatting quite merrily, in Spanish, about Bueno's potential move to Liverpool. Enjoy.
4. Juan Cruz Mascia
Club: Club Sportivo Miramar Misiones
Without question the most talented young striker in Uruguay, Mascia has attracted attention from a number of Europe's top clubs, particularly after his stunning displays at the U-17 Copa America where he finished the tournament as top scorer.
He's been compared to Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani and he has all the talent to become just as good as those Uruguayan legends. He's a born goalscorer who's more than comfortably playing as a target-man and bringing others into the game.
A fluent English speaker, Mascia would have no language difficulties were he to move to England, but at only 17 it's probably a little too early for him to make the move.
My suggestion would be to secure a first option for a year or two, similar to what Manchester United have done with young Chilean star Angelo Henriquez, allow him to develop, and then buy him.
With our existing connections to Uruguay I believe we would have a great chance of securing him. Unfortunately I couldn't get any decent video footage of him, but if you watch games from the tournament I mentioned above, he's Uruguay's No. 13.
On a side note, if United don't follow through with their option on Henriquez, we should be taking a look at him too as he's another fantastic young talent.
5. Andy Polo
Club: Club Universitario de Deportes
This is a name that might be familiar to a few Liverpool fans as he has recently been linked with a move to Anfield. Polo might just be the biggest talent to come out of Peru in, well, forever to be quite honest.
Blessed with great pace, a fantastic first touch and the ability to score goals with either foot or his head, Polo seems destined for greatness. He's also surprisingly strong despite being only half an inch taller than Raheem Sterling.
I've probably seen Polo play five times, and I honestly think he has superstar potential. He plays the game with a smile on his face as well, which is always good to see.
At 17 he's still very young, but he's a player Liverpool should definitely be snapping up for the future.
6. Leandro Damiao
At 22 years and five months, Damiao is the senior citizen on this list, and he's also the one Liverpool most need right now. A born goalscorer who knows how to work hard, Damiao is the ideal partner for Luis Suarez.
In 2011, he has played 46 games for his club and scored 39 goals. He's simply a machine who does it for fun. He's quick, very skillful with a never ending bag of tricks and he's a team player. He's similar to Pato in many ways but may be a more complete all-round player.
He was linked during the summer and there's been talk that Liverpool might make a move for him in the winter transfer window. If Damien Comolli has any sense he will do just that, as Damiao is going to be a superstar and would give Suarez to partner he is desperately in need of.
7. Lucas Moura
Club: São Paulo Futebol Clube
From the most necessary signing on this list, to the best player on it. If you haven't seen Lucas Moura play, trust me, you've been missing out. Unquestionably talented, Moura is arguably the most talented teenager in the world right now and has the potential to be the best player on the planet.
Unlike his more well known compatriot Neymar, Lucas Moura is more about substance than style and the hype around him is completely deserved. He's equally comfortable as a winger, or an attacking midfielder and is simply sensational in both roles.
He's already won ten caps for Brazil and will certainly play a huge role in their 2014 world cup run as they look to rebuild their team which, to be quite honest, has been nothing short of shocking for the last year or two.
Liverpool simply must sign this boy now, because if they don't his price is going to go through the roof and they'll never get another chance.
I could go on and on about him, but I'll just advise you to watch the video. If you don't think that's one very special football player then I would suggest forgetting about football and focusing on flower arranging because this clearly isn't the sport for you.
In fact, forget what I said on the previous slide, Lucas Moura is the most necessary signing on this list. I would forgive Damien Comolli for wasting mass amounts of money in his short time at the club if he were to sign Lucas Moura.
8. Paulo Henrique Chagas De Lima...AKA...Ganso
Maybe it's because he's left footed, maybe it's because he's tall and sort of gangly, maybe it's because of that laid back style of play he showcases. Whatever the reason, when I watch Ganso play I feel like it's 1996 and I'm watching Deportivo La Coruna's latest signing take to the field and introduce himself to the world.
I am of course referring to the magical Rivaldo who would have been the greatest player in the world during the late 90's and early 00's were it not for some french guy called Zinedine.
Ganso has been compared to Zidane, and to Kaka as well, but for me, Rivaldo is the player he most resembles.
Whenever a talented player is left footed people will trot out the line "a wand of a left foot". Generally it's just an attempt to hype the player but in Ganso's case it doesn't even do him or his left foot justice. Ganso seems to put a spell on the ball when he gets it and can coax it into doing whatever he wants it do.
Sliderule pass to split a defence? Done. Fifty yard crossfield pass? Done. Carass the ball into the corner of the net? Done. Blockbuster strike from anywhere up to 30 yards? Done. Make any defender who comes close look like a rank amateur? Done and done.
Ganso really is the real deal and at 22 he's at the perfect age to make the move. Liverpool would likely face stiff competition for the player as both Milan clubs have been linked in the past, but the Reds are certainly in a stronger financial position than either Italian club, and with Lucas Leiva and Fabio Aurelio at the club they may just be able to tempt him to swap the famous black and white stripes of Santos, for the legendary red jersey of Liverpool.
Potentially, the ideal replacement for Steven Gerrard.
9. Sergio Araujo
Club: Boca Juniors
From the conveyor belt of talent that brought us Juan Roman Riquelme, Fernando Gago, Carlos Tevez, Ever Banega and Nico Gaitan comes Sergio Araujo, the newest prince of the Bombanera.
Araujo is a player in the mould of Kun Aguero and while I don't think he's as good as Kun was at the same age, he's still a very talented player with a lot of potential.
He's got an eye for a goal, displays excellent movement, quick passing skills and good pace. Regardless of whether or not reaches the levels of Aguero and Tevez, he's still going to be an excellent player. Even if it does nothing more than become the next Rodrigo Palacio, that's no bad thing.
10. Lucas Ocampos
Club: River Plate
Ever wondered what if might be like to see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo play in the same team?
Well if this boy develops the way he's projected to, you might get to see the next best thing. He's been linked to many top clubs, including Liverpool and Chelsea and is destined for greatness.
Lucas Ocampos is the most exciting talent Argentina has seen since Javier Pastore made his breakthrough at Talleres in 2007, and possibly even since Kun Aguero exploded onto the scene with Independiente in 2003.
Ocampos is a winger who plays predominantly on the left flank is very similar to CR7 in terms of build, talent, playing style and potential. What he doesn't have are the histrionics and pointless crossover that have left the Portuguese winger trailing behind Lionel Messi in terms of admiration.
Liverpool missed out on Aguero to Rafa Benitez being confused about what a good football player was. They missed out on Pastore due to short-sightedness. Last summer they missed out on Erik Lamela due to Damien Comolli's love affair with overpriced English talent.
I really hope they don't miss out on Ocampos because if they do, it will be one they'll regret for a long time.
Thanks for Reading
I hope you've enjoyed this article and maybe heard of a player or two that you may not previously have been aware of.
As I mentioned on the opening slide I'm planning to continue this series and next time I might do a run down on potential signings from the Bundesliga or possibly a piece on Eastern Europe. Leave comments below and let me know which you'd prefer. You never know, I might do both.
Feel free to leave any other comments or thoughts below. And you can also check out my homepage for all my previous Bleacher Report articles.
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