The conclusion of Copa America has yet again brought the football markets to the forefront and we are back with yet another of our many eccentric suggestions. Its time someone sat up and noticed the brilliance of Gary Medel as a destroyer and it is our pleasure doing so.
Who would need him more than a team that has seen its legendary captain leave, its main defensive midfielder being plagued by injuries over the last few seasons and its status as one of the big clubs in Europe fast eroding. It’s time Ian Ayre made sure he reaches the farthest corner of this earth and have a discussion with Medel and present him to the media with an LFC jersey in his hand.
With the midfielder turning 28 soon, he is definitely not out of bounds for Liverpool, who have tended to sign younger, albeit costlier players. With Inter signing Kondogbia, Medel is expected to be shifted to the defence, where he has performed admirably for Chile. However, we believe Medel adds so much more value to the team from the middle of the park.
The Chilean has been surprisingly pleasant with his passing, averaging a pass percentage that hovers around 90% in the last two seasons (One each in English Premier League and Serie A). He has been seen dropping deep and help build the play from defense. While he likes to move the ball around looking for opportunities with short passes, he likes to spray the ball when he is presented an opportunity. To put things in perspective, Medel completed 76% of his long passes over the last two seasons compared to Steven Gerrard’s 70%, despite being renowned for his “Hollywood passes”. He has shown tremendous ability holding on to the ball as well and has been dispossessed just once in every two appearance, which puts him a notch above many others who tend to lose the ball too often.
Medel has been a constant menace for his opponents in the middle of the park. He loves to get into a duel and exasperate the wits out of his opponents with his ruggedness. He made more than 4 tackles per game and winning close to 2 every game through the last season. His frequency, tenacity and work ethic make him a character worth having in the squad. He has shown solidarity on the ground, breaking play with either interceptions, tackles or a harmless tackle (99 and 66 interceptions over the last two seasons). Yes, he has been nasty in the past, like most genuine destroyers tend to be, and would definitely add the bite and energy this Liverpool side’s defensive half has experienced since the retirement of Jamie Carragher.
He has been involved heavily in the defence making more than 2 clearances per appearance over the last two seasons apart from crucial blocks in the middle of the park. He was crucial to Cardiff’s fortunes during their short stint in the league and would be crucial to Inter’s fortunes too unless they ship him permanently into the defence, which might not bring the best out of him. And this is where we believe a team as starved as Liverpool in terms of a destroyer comes in. With the likes of Coutinho, Markovic, Ibe, Firmino and Sturrdige when he is fit ( I am leaving out Sterling because I don’t see him donning a Liverpool shirt ever again) operating in the attack, manager Rodgers will be more worried about sorting the back of the line-up.
Having created 28 and 7 chances in the last two seasons, he might not be burning the league down with his creativity, but that was never intended to be the result of his presence on the pitch. He brings the character this Liverpool side so desperately needs. He has performed in the English league and that is evident from his number with Cardiff, so we won’t buy your argument of if he is good enough for what is considered to be the most treacherous football league in the world.
So, Mr. Ayre, if you have been reading this article of mine, please shut down your laptop, track Gary Medel and kindly sign him. He could well prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle.