This time last year, Cristian Zapata was almost certainly headed to Anfield. The Colombian defender had rejected the advances of Manchester City and Arsenal, preferring a move to Merseyside and the chance to play under Kenny Dalglish.
However for reasons unknown, the transfer collapsed with Zapata joining Villareal instead.
Fast-forward a year and the situation seems almost uncanny. Zapata’s agent has stated his player is leaving Spain this summer having not enjoyed his time at El Madrigal. Yet will Liverpool be interested in the centre-back this time around?
With most talk around Anfield being about Andy Carroll and his projected exit, many have forgotten that Martin Skrtel is yet to resign with the Merseyside club. Keeping Skrtel was a priority for Rodgers on arriving at Anfield yet with the Premier League season just over two weeks away Liverpool have yet to reach a deal with their defender.
Manchester City and Anzhi Machakala are amongst those interested in Skrtel, meaning Liverpool may find it wise to consider other options in the transfer market. Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Amorebieta has already attracted the interest of the Reds yet with Zapata’s agent claiming his desire to move could Liverpool look at the Columbian again.
Both players are big physical defenders that would certainly fill the hole left by Skrtel if the Slovakian left. Yet both players will unlikely move to Anfield and so Rodgers’ may find himself with a difficult defensive decision. Yet if it was my call, I think Zapata might be the better option for Liverpool.
The Colombian has already attracted the interest of the Reds in the past and would be a suitable replacement should Skrtel choose the leave. A dominant physical specimen, Zapata also possesses good ball control and would be especially useful to Rodgers thanks to his versatility – although preferring to play at centre-back, Zapata can also be used at either fullback position.
With both Zapata and Amorebieta both incredibly similar it may come to negative points as opposed to positives when Liverpool evaluate both defenders. Zapata’s versatility has already been mentioned but his excitement of joining Liverpool last season must also be considered. The Colombian displayed a desire to play for the Reds, whilst Amorebieta would prefer to resign with Bilbao.
In addition Zapata would probably be a cheaper option than the Bilbao defender – Amorebieta is rated at around £12million, whilst Zapata is evaluated at the same amount in Euros.
In an ideal world, Liverpool would hope to resign Skrtel in the near future. Yet if he does leave then Liverpool would find suitable replacements in either central defender. Yet it could be Zapata’s versatility and lower asking price that seems him become a Red before Fernando Amorebieta.
However lets hope we stay in an ideal world.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!