Liverpool have been confirmed to have made a move for Brazilian international Alex Teixeira. The Shakhtar star has been linked with a move to Chelsea in the past few months and had admitted that he was keen to join the Blues, especially because of José Mourinho. However, it seems as though Liverpool are taking the lead in his race and want to get the deal wrapped up quickly.
The reported offer Liverpool have made is €32m, which is about £24.5m. But according to Tony Barrett, Shakhtar are seeking a sum closer to €50m, which is about £38m, therefore it will be interesting to see how negotiations go and whether Liverpool will be successfully able to prize the Brazilian away from the Ukraine side. For now, fans are entitled to simply be ecstatic about the links.
Teixeira, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, has scored 67 goals in 146 league games for the Ukrainian team in five years at the club. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why Jürgen Klopp, whose Liverpool side have scored only 25 goals in 22 league games this season and currently have Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi, as well as Philippe Coutinho out injured, wants a player like Alex Teixeira.
Despite having an absolutely brilliant strike rate, Teixeira’s “prime position” is not one of a striker. He usually plays behind the strikers, or even on the flanks as he seeks to exploit space behind the opponent’s box. He is usually positioned in the attacking midfield area from where he is quick to move ahead of play, either linking play with his attacking teammates, cutting outside or making bursting runs into the box from where he can do the damage.
Liverpool have a player pretty identical in style of play, in the form of Roberto Firmino. Firmino has endured a fair share of criticism for not making more of an impact after his hyped summer move from Hoffenheim. However, the Brazilian has done extremely well lately and can’t be blamed for not having much support from his teammates as most of Liverpool’s attacking force is on the sidelines and Christian Benteke has been extremely poor in front.
If Liverpool manage to have both Teixeira and Firmino in the same side, the short term plan of Klopp’s would certainly be to continue playing the latter as a false striker, given the 23-year-old has worked in this role in the absence of Origi, Ings and Sturridge. Teixeira will therefore take the role of a “number 10”, who will work the spaces behind Firmino. This could essentially mean that Benteke would continue in his peripheral role till the end of the season. Considering Benteke’s recent form and pressure from fans and media, it won’t be too surprising to see the Big Belgian move away from Anfield in the summer. However, the addition of Teixeira might help the former Aston Villa striker rediscover his goalscoring touch. The 26-year-old can knit clever passes off which the striker can feed and find the back of the net. Benteke could mutually benefit the Brazilian as one of the Teixeira’s best attributes is the runs he makes inside the box. With Benteke usually standing around the top of the box, Teixeira would have the platform to feed off the space the Belgian could provide him with.
Once Liverpool have a prolific out and out striker, which could very well be next season, Firmino and Teixeira would both play behind the striker. Coutinho, in both short and long term, is likely to occupy a spot either in the midfield, or behind the striker where there could be two number 10s.
Liverpool’s big problem this season has been the dearth of goals. Klopp’s men currently have the second worst conversion rate in the entire league. Despite creating chances, and doing well in the second third of the pitch, the Reds attack can’t do enough in the six-yard box to get decisive goals and win games. In the absence of Sturridge and Origi, there is very little movement and mostly, not enough bodies in the six-yard box, for goals to occur. 25 goals after more than one half of the season is over, is a very poor outcome. In contrast, Teixeira has the same number of goals (in all competitions), but in 21 games. It’s little surprise that Liverpool are targeting this man to address their biggest problem this season. Shakhtar are believed to be holding out for more, but Liverpool must make sure they carry out this deal in the same swiftness and effectiveness as they did with Firmino in the summer, as they could definitely make a second-half (of the season) challenge for top 4 places, and compete in all the cup competitions (the Reds are currently in all cup competitions) and aim for more next season with the Brazilian trio in their attack.
With the transfer deadline day looming why not have a go at the Transfer Deadline Day Quiz brought to you by Free Super Tips below:
Transfer Deadline Day Quiz – Brought to you by Free Super Tips