Much has been made of Liverpool’s lack of strength in the goal-scoring department. Luis Suarez once again bears the mantle of chief goal threat with summer signing Fabio Borini failing to make any impact whatsoever since his arrival at Anfield. Andy Carroll will most likely be recalled in January, however Brendan Rodgers is looking further in his bid to enhance Liverpool’s front line.
According to talkSPORT, Liverpool have expressed great interested in PSV’s Belgian winger Dries Mertens. The 25-year-old netted 20 times in just 23 outing last season and has already scored 4 in 5 games this season. According to the report, Mertens could be available for around £9.7m should Rodgers decide to bid come January. He might be essential should Liverpool grind out performances like their 0-0 draw with Stoke at the weekend.
The positive sides of PSV’s winger are plain to see. Mertens scored 25 goals in 40 appearances during his time in Eindhoven, certainly a stat that would bolster Liverpool’s league aspirations should he leave his native Holland. People may be a little put off by his position but that is simply a label – the Belgian is not your stereotypical winger but players more of a striking role out wide in the 4-3-3 formation (like Cristiano Ronaldo for example).
There is only one lingering question in my mind. Will he be able to carry his form into the Premier League? Sure his results are impressive in the Eredivise yet Holland’s Premier League is not of the same standard as the English Premiership. Mertens might look good in an Eindhoven shirt yet whether he could conjure such goal scoring records playing against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal is another matter.
That’s what makes this difficult for Liverpool. On the one hand Mertens is no doubt talented, yet on the other hand there is always that risk that he fails on the big stage. Only Brendan Rodgers can make that leap of fate and call whether he will succeed in England.
However Liverpool have time on their side. Personally I think Mertens is a great talent and there is no doubt he can find the back of the net. Over the next few weeks it is essential that the Reds keep tabs on this young man, both during his time with Eindhoven and also with the national side. Mertens performances in PSV’s Europa League campaign are also important, demonstrating whether he can up his game for the bigger stage, despite Brendan Rodgers clearly not valuing the tournament (but that’s another story).
For me, it is simply too early to call whether this is a good or bad pickup. The signs are promising but Liverpool have to see how things pan out over the next couple of months before deciding to commit in January.
If it does work out, then boy have they got a steal with Dries Mertens.