It has been a very quiet transfer window for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side this month. There has been no action in terms of new personnel coming in or any exits at Anfield, with which manager Klopp admitted getting frustrated with. Liverpool have just managed a single win since the turn of the year, that too an unconvincing 1-0 win over lower division team Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup and were shown the exit doors from two cup competitions within a matter of days last week.
And hence it hasn’t come as a surprise that there have been growing noises of discontent over the lack of transfers and with the transfer window shutting down on Tuesday, many a player have been linked with a move to the Merseyside.
The biggest story that is doing the rounds, however, is that AS Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes is a subject of a £26.5 million bid by the Reds and will move to Anfield in all likelihood. However, Roma chief Mauro Baldissoni was quick to dismiss those reports, stating that the club hadn’t received any offers for the midfielder.
Paredes broke through the ranks at Boca Juniors in Argentina, before making a switch to Roma in 2014 on loan with an option to make it permanent. A defensive midfielder by trade, the 22-year old did not get much playing time in his first season, however, the Giallorossi were convinced of his abilities and made his move a permanent one before shipping him out on loan to Empoli for the 2015-16 season.
The move worked wonders for the Argentine, as he emerged as an important player in the middle of the park for Empoli, leading them to a tenth-place finish in the Serie A. His impressive range of passing and his tough tackling were big features of his game last term. And it has been no different this season as well.
Having made 15 appearances for Roma in the Serie A and 5 more in the Europa League, Paredes has an amazingly high passing accuracy of 89% and it needs to be taken note that the passes that he attempts aren’t simple horizontal midfield passes but he is always looking to open up defences with a through ball or a cross-field ball over the head of defences to release the full-backs.
He has also attempted 45 tackles in the Italian top division and has come out with the ball 30% of his tries. A strong header of the ball, the 22-year old seems to win almost everything he goes up for in the air and has also known to play out from the back with some lovely skills with the ball at his feet. An excellent set-piece taker as well, he has so much to offer to Liverpool, if signed.
With Liverpool struggling against teams who sit deep and hit them on the counter this term, Paredes could be the way to go for them. While he has a knack of opening up defences with some pinpoint passes, he also brings an assuredness in the middle of the park with his tough, no-nonsense tackling. Young and full of energy, the 22-year old can also operate higher up the field, having started his career as an attacking midfielder.
With Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum both struggling in recent times, someone with the quality of Paredes will be a welcome addition to the Liverpool midfield. Liverpool have struggled to replace Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano since the two midfield stalwarts left the club, but with his excellent vision and range of passes, and his work-rate and defensive nous in the midfield, Paredes could finally be the man to fill that void.