Monday, October 23, 2017

Liverpool & James Rodriguez: Proven Quality vs Liability

Liverpool linked with Real Madrid star James Rodriguez / Image via express.co.uk

Proven quality.

Two words that were not quite commonly found in Liverpool’s vocabulary over the past few years. Two words that – in the case of James Rodriguez’s potential move to Anfield – also have the ability to change the public perception of the famed club and raise the profile closer to where Jurgen Klopp sees his club at.

It All Depends on the Champions League

Liverpool have found competing with financially more powerful Premier League rivals to be grueling and exhausting, but their hard-work and heavy-metal football – with all of its pros and cons, benefits and problems which hit the surface this season – could bring some satisfaction in the end.

A chance to win the league has long disappeared, opportunities to lift a piece of silverware elsewhere also wasted and – from the current standpoint – a fourth-place finish would be a major success for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Liverpool are currently occupying the Champions League berth with 56 points to their name collected from 29 games. The Reds have played two games more than Manchester United in fifth and Arsenal in sixth place in the standings and will hope their rivals will drop points on the road to the finish line.

For those keen to put some money to it, there are odds of 4/9 to claim Reds will be able to lock down the Champions League spot.

The Champions League football means much more to Liverpool than just finding their place among the best on the continent, as it opens the door for potential proven-quality transfers.

And the latest reports we were all been reading about in the media have been linking Real Madrid unsettled star James Rodriguez with a move to Anfield, where he is unlikely to even consider moving to unless there is a promise of that famous Champions League tune next year.

Is James Rodriguez what Liverpool need?

Even though defence is the biggest issue Liverpool need to address in my opinion, a chance to bring a marquee signing such as the Colombian international James Rodriguez should not be missed.

Jurgen Klopp himself commented earlier that he was looking to add to his options in the final third of the pitch and is expected to do so when the summer window opens because Liverpool do boast an attack-oriented squad, but a limited one.

This was most obvious during the African Cup of Nations when Sadio Mane’s absence left a huge gap in the team. With depth in numbers and not in quality, Liverpool truly are in need of reinforcements upfront, most of all to make sure a backup is secured in case the Catalan poachers manage to somehow grab Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian playmaker has signed a new deal with the Anfield club, and adding a quality player such as James Rodriguez could ensure fresh guarantees are made and Coutinho convinced of the club’s ambitions.

James Rodriguez would be a huge statement of intent from the club which saw their biggest players move on in their prime years in recent history. Luis Suarez, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres and Raheem Sterling are only some of the examples.

Should Klopp beat a number of suitors and land James Rodriguez it would be a definite indicator that Liverpool are only looking upwards under the German manager.

The Colombian forward-oriented player James Rodriguez, a highly versatile midfielder is not exactly enjoying a form that recommended him to Real Madrid back in 2014, but Liverpool could be his big break as well.

Liverpool would give James a chance to shine, be on the right path and once again return to putting in world-class performances. Currently given a marginal role by Zinedine Zidane, a boss who seems to be undervaluing his abilities, James Rodriguez would become an out-and-out star at Liverpool, which is something a player like the Colombian will relish and enjoy in.

Flip Side of the Coin

There is a question of finances which lingers as the biggest one to be asked.

Liverpool are a club still trailing their Premier League rivals when it comes to players’ wages. Coutinho is the highest paid player with an amount of £150,000 a week that has almost become a standard for some of the rivalling clubs in the league. The question is whether the Reds would be able to sustain another heavy burden on their wallet and more importantly would it all be worth it.  

James Rodriguez’s mentality is another issue that some Liverpool fans have been worried about. The Colombian was thought to be lacking professional bearing at Real Madrid, which was said to be one of the reasons why Zinedine Zidane was not using him more at Real Madrid over the past year. Rodriguez was angry at the perception of him being an overweight unprofessional, blasting the media for their attempt to ruin his public image.

Whatever the reason behind Rodriguez and Zidane’s disagreements, a manager like Jurgen Klopp, who is a contrast to calm and peaceful Zinedine Zidane could be a catalyst for bringing the best out of the Colombian star.

Another contrast between the two clubs is the business philosophy and that is another aspect of the potential James Rodriguez transfer worth inspecting. While Los Blancos have been focused on prizing the brightest talents to Santiago Bernabeu, Liverpool have been growing and farming their own at Anfield.

The club’s philosophy suited the one of Jurgen Klopp perfectly as the German is someone who is well-known for his work with less prominent stars and young prospects. And while homegrown talents such as Ben Woodburn and significantly paid teenagers such as Marko Grujic bite their nails in anticipation of the next season, Jurgen Klop might be forced to tune his approach.

The stakes are increasing however, and Liverpool might be forced to do so if they want to fight for honours and to challenge their rivals next year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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