Liverpool wanted to sign Juventus midfielder Denis Zakaria on transfer deadline day instead of his team-mate Arthur Melo, according to a fresh claim which has emerged.
The Lowdown: Arthur comes in
Arthur could make his debut for Liverpool this week when they travel to Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday night, as he looks to make an immediate impression.
According to reports from Italy, though, the Brazilian wasn’t the Reds’ number one pick from Juventus.
The Latest: Reds wanted Zakaria
In a report by Calciomercato, it is claimed that Liverpool wanted to sign Zakaria before moving for Arthur, but the Switzerland international ended up joining Chelsea on loan instead in the final hours of the transfer window.
With Liverpool unable to agree a deal for the £90.5k-per-week Swiss tank, they eventually signed Arthur, seeing him as the next-best alternative.
The Verdict: Better option?
While the signing of Arthur at least gives Liverpool another welcome option in midfield, he failed to truly convince at either Barcelona or Juventus, so the jury may remain out on him for some time.
It remains to be seen how he will do but Zakaria – who has previously been dubbed a “pearl” by German football legend Lothar Matthaus – could certainly have been a stronger option, arguably possessing more dynamism and defensive qualities.
In Serie A last season, the Swiss midfielder averaged 1.2 interceptions per game compared to Arthur’s 0.7 and averaged a higher overall performance rating (6.56) than the Brazilian (6.48); and his more robust style could be better suited to the Premier League.
It will be interesting to see whether Liverpool will come to rue their failed pursuit of Zakaria in time, particularly if he excels at Chelsea.
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