La Liga

Star’s decline should warn Liverpool off making emotional but stupid transfer move in January

The Reds faithful in the Transfer Tavern are hoping their side will continue to carve teams apart with their flair and creativity throughout the hectic winter period…

The resident Kopites have been in fine voice in the tavern of late after watching their side improve across all areas of the pitch. Plenty of the supporters are starting to believe that Klopp can take Liverpool to the next level in the very near future after he has secured a small number of key acquisitions in defensive positions.

Speculation regarding potential Liverpool signings is already rife in the media, with FC Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano reportedly on Klopp’s wish-list according to The Daily Mirror. 

However, Liverpool’s hopes of luring Mascherano back to Anfield for a second stint at the club have been thrown into doubt this week by reports in MundoDeportivo that claim the Argentine is holding out for a move to China in January.

In reality though, the Liverpool supporters have no reason to be concerned by the reports, as Mascherano’s preference for a move to China represents a blessing in disguise.

When Mascherano was at Liverpool, he played in a holding midfield in front of the defence before he was converted to a centre-back after his move to Barcelona.

On paper, it was a positional switch that wasn’t ideal for a player of the Argentine’s size, but he has become a resounding success at the club at centre-back because the role at Barca entails a vastly different set of responsibilities to what is required in the Premier League.

In La Liga – and especially at Barcelona where possession-based football is king – the technical ability of defenders carries a greater importance than in the Premier League where physical attributes are typically prioritised.

Mascherano was never blessed with blistering pace, brute strength or commanding height, but what he does possess is a marvellous ability to read the game and distribute the ball effectively.

Those qualities are certainly not redundant in the Premier League, but unfortunately for Mascherano, his physical attributes are not at the standard required to warrant a return to Liverpool.


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