Liverpool Opinion: Splashing a fortune to sign Felipe Anderson won’t be a smart move for the Reds
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool have set their sights on West Ham attacker Felipe Anderson ahead of the summer transfer window, with manager Jurgen Klopp looking to bolster his attacking options prior to the start of the upcoming campaign.
However, the Daily Mail understands that West Ham are not going to let Anderson go on the cheap to any of the top-six clubs in the Premier League and the Hammers are expected to make a statement of intent by holding on to their star man.
Liverpool were also keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt but their pursuit of the 22-year-old ended in disappointment, with Borussia Dortmund winning the race to sign the winger. (h/t Daily Mail)
Anderson made his move to West Ham from Serie A club Lazio last summer for a club-record fee of £36 million and managed to make an instant impact in the Premier League.
The Brazilian quickly adapted to the dynamic nature of English football and produced impressive returns in his first season at the club, having chipped in with 9 goals and 4 assists in 36 Premier League appearances.
The Brazilian’s red-hot form hasn’t gone unnoticed and Sky Sports reported last month that the 26-year-old was on the radar of Real Madrid, with the Los Blancos identifying his as an alternative to Chelsea star Eden Hazard. (h/t Sky Sports)
Undoubtedly, Anderson’s stocks have soared sky high since his move to east London last summer and any potential suitor would have to cough up a huge amount to lure him away from West Ham this summer.
It is not an overstatement that a player of his calibre is capable of playing for any top club in Europe but he is highly-adored by the fans and the hierarchy at West Ham and a move away from the club seems unlikely to materialize this summer.
To put things into perspective, Liverpool have every reason to look at Felipe Anderson as a viable option to bolster their attack given that the Brazilian has already proven his credentials in the Premier League.
However, the Reds need to understand that Anderson is a top player at his current club and he is unlikely to have his head turned by a back-up role at Anfield, and even if the player is interested, Liverpool would need to break the bank to sign him.
Anderson is at a stage in his career where he would like to play every game and it is highly unlikely that Liverpool would be able to make such promises, with the dominance of stalwarts like Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino reigning supreme in their ranks.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi haven’t had much playtime this season and Anderson, though possibly an upgrade on both of them, cannot expect any better.
It is true that the departure of Daniel Sturridge on a free transfer this summer is going to deal a blow to Liverpool’s squad depth but they should be better off looking at an out-and-out No.9 to replace him.
Bringing in a prolific striker would provide cover and competition for Firmino, as well as maintain the perfect balance in the squad. The lack of a specialist No.10 since the departure of Philippe Coutinho has come back to haunt Liverpool at times, with full-backs Robertson and Alexander-Arnold providing most of the creative spark from the flanks.
Anderson is capable of playing as a No.10 but he is at his best when deployed out wide on the flanks and Liverpool should not make the mistake of looking at him as someone to just fill the gaps in the middle of the park. Moreover, spending a fortune to bring in a player for a back-up role sounds pretty awkward and irrational.
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That said, Liverpool should keep faith in their prolific front trio and invest to improve other areas of their squad.