Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Liverpool Rekindle Their Interest In French Midfield Ace: Does The Move Make Sense For Klopp?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to a local French newspaper Le Progres, as cited by Foot OL, Liverpool have once again set their sights on Nabil Fekir. The French world champion was close to a move to Anfield last summer, but a move failed to materialise.

That being said, Liverpool have reignited their interest in Fekir as they aim to bulk up their creative options. However, they are not willing to pay anywhere near the €50 million fee that was reported last year. Instead, they want to sweeten up Fekir’s overall transfer fee by using the revenue of their pre-season friendly game against Olympique Lyon this summer.

What can Nabil Fekir bring to the table?

Despite his limited opportunities in the French national team, Fekir has continued his excellent form in the Ligue 1. The 25-year-old was involved 16 league goals in 29 matches for Lyon last term, helping Les Gones finish third in the league table.

As far as his gameplay is concerned, Fekir is mainly known for his nifty dribbling skills. He can provide flair and dynamism in the final third with his clever footwork and mobility. He has notably averaged 1.6 successful dribbles per game this past season.

He is also an excellent ball-carrier who can operate in half-spaces and create opportunities for his team. One of the main reasons that allow him to be such effective is his ability to shield the ball. The Frenchman often tends to use his backside to shield the defenders from dispossessing – a style of play which is prevalent in Eden Hazard’s game.

Furthermore, the 25-year-old is proficient when it comes to set-pieces, with most of his creates chances originating from either crosses or corners. He has averaged 1.8 key passes per game during the 2018/19 campaign.

Is Fekir still a good option for Liverpool?

Fekir seems like a shrewd choice by Jurgen Klopp as his style of play is arguably more fitted to a team that embraces the possession-based game. Regardless, however, the Frenchman will still be able to provide much-needed competition for the injury-prone Naby Keita and is a definite upgrade over Xherdan Shaqiri.

That being said, a lot will depend on how much Lyon will actually demand Fekir even if Liverpool offset some of the fees with the revenue from the friendlies. He certainly won’t be a good value signing if the Reds pay anything over €40 million.

But from a sporting perspective, Fekir’s addition to the Liverpool side makes sense given their lack of reliable options in the creative midfield department.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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