The man who arguably owes his career to Alex McLeish looks to be eyeing up a potential move to Michael Owen’s current or boyhood club. There’s a sentence I never thought I would write. According to the Metro Mauro Zarate is heading back to the Premier League and Liverpool or Stoke City could be the destination for some post Christmas shopping. The man that dazzled us all with a 4 goals in 14 appearances spell at St Andrews back in the 2007/08 season is now looking to the Premiership once again as it seems Serie A just isn’t for him.
Many a suitor was interested in the Argentine when his loan with Birmingham didn’t lead to a permanent deal because of their relegation, so when Lazio came calling and it was a choice between playing in the Rome Derby or away at Plymouth Argyle only one winner would emerge. In that first year on loan Zarate bagged 16 goals and 8 assists for Lazio and that convinced them to spend about £13.7 million and whack a tasty £40 million buy out clause into his contract as it was felt only a matter of time till the Madrid’s and Milan’s of this world came calling with big bags of swag.
However, the next two seasons saw the fickle hierarchy of Lazio show its ugly head and even though Zarate managed a return of 18 goals and 17 assists in two seasons he was still shipped out on loan to a lacklustre Inter Milan. The highlight of his time for the Nerazzuri was a 79th minute winner away to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League but that amounted to a third of all his goals for Inter in a year when he failed to impress.
Now back at Lazio he has been thrown on the scrap heap known as the Europa League first team, owch.
Liverpool think he is worth looking at or so says the Metro but the time it may take for Zarate to hit first team fitness may be too late as Liverpool need a striker who is primed and ready. At least he fits into the way of Liverpool playing, imaging Zarate in Stoke colours is a bit like imagining Benitez as manager of Chelsea, maybe it is plausible then.
Out of the two teams Liverpool would certainly be a better fit, as they have the history and the ambition to seem a more attractive employer. However, with Suarez the only recognised striker and the injured Borini not exactly scarring defences in the same way Brother Mouzone scares most of Baltimore’s gangsters, a striker ready for first team action would be preferred on Merseyside.
As it’s only November I am anticipating a number of strikers to be linked with Liverpool in the run up till January and will no doubt be taking the majority of rumours with a pinch of salt until I see a striker with smarmy grin on face and pen in hand signing the dotted line for all the blood sucking parasites flashing their light-bulbs and getting their notepads ready for the copious clichés about to vomit out of the players mouth.
At about £7 million he is probably in Liverpool’s price range but don’t hold your breath.