Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Liverpool And Barcelona Considering Swap Involving Attacking Pair: Why Klopp Must Make The Call

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from Somos Fanaticos (via The Express) is believed to be true, Liverpool are Barcelona are assessing a potential swap deal involving Roberto Firmino and Memphis Depay. Both the attackers have entered the final year of their respective contracts and as things stand, are unlikely to be handed extensions beyond next summer.

Amid fears of losing them for nothing, a January swap could be beneficial for both parties involved. Depay has slipped down the pecking order following Barcelona’s summer overhaul, whereas Firmino is no more a first-team regular for the Merseysiders after Darwin Nunez’s mega-money arrival from Benfica.

The 30-year-old Selecao international is one of the pioneers of Liverpool’s metamorphosis under Jurgen Klopp. He completed a £29m transfer from Hoffenheim in summer 2015 during the final days of Brendan Rodgers’ tenure but excelled under the charismatic German who deployed him as a ‘False 9’ to utilize his work rate and pressing game. So far he has fired in 101 goals and laid on 77 more in 335 appearances for the English hotshots.

Roberto Firmino

Despite scoring and assisting thrice each in 8 games across competitions, Firmino has mostly featured as the understudy to Diogo Jota over the past couple of years. Nunez is still attuning to the grind and demands of English football, but the Uruguayan holds a very high ceiling given his exquisite scoring streak in Portugal.

Why Liverpool Should Consider The Swap Deal

The Brazilian will be 31 in a week’s time and the Reds, therefore, must find a younger alternative for their ageing squad. Depay, thanks to his versatility across the frontline, would be a decent coup if Firmino moves in the opposite direction.

The 28-year-old Dutch international also has unfinished business in England after failing to live up to the hype at Manchester United. He came from PSV Eindhoven with a high reputation but only managed a couple of league goals before leaving for Lyon in Ligue 1. There he revived his career and eventually completed a Bosman move to Barca upon the expiration of his Les Gones contract.

Liverpool, on the other hand, secured the services of Luis Diaz back in January to challenge and cover for Sadio Mane. The latter left for Bayern Munich this summer and the Reds opted not to find a like-for-like replacement for their Senegalese sensation. Although the Colombian has been exceptional from the left, Depay’s addition would restore depth as well as quality considering their slow start this campaign both at home as well as abroad.

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