LFC European Scouting Report 2012

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As part of our View From The Kop competition – where contestants are set a weekly task and members vote upon the best response in a big brother style eviction process – this week’s task was to scout players from around Europe who could enhance the Liverpool squad next season.

Contestants could not choose Napoli front-man Edinson Cavani and Lille’s Belgian attacker Eden Hazard, two players widely believed to be on the radar of not only LFC but a host of other Premier League sides this summer already.

In total, seven players received in-depth analysis – all attacking players, clearly showing where supporters feel Kenny Dalglish needs to improve his squad this summer.

Click each player’s name to read their scouting report, then vote for the two you think are best here.

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

“At 20 years of age Christian Eriksen has become one of the most sought-after players in Europe. I recommend we sign this promising attack-minded midfielder (famed for his vision, dribbling, passing and shooting) in the upcoming Transfer Window.

From a tender age it has been clear that Eriksen has tremendous talent and an ability to control the tempo of the entire team. The Dane performed well in the youth teams of local clubs until he put his name firmly on the map of legendary teams such as Barcelona and AC Milan by impressing at the Danish Youth Championships.

However, Eriksen surprisingly joined Ajax… with the ultimate hope of becoming the next player to dispense from the Ajax production line.

After his debut for Ajax in 2010, Eriksen has amassed 102 games for Ajax, produced a highly impressive combined tally of 47 goals+assists, and already won major accolades such as both Dutch and Danish Talent Of The Year and the Eredivise Title in 2011.

As if that wasn’t enough, Eriksen has been likened to Sneijder, Van der Vaart and Laudrup by some of the most respected men in football.

Eriksen is undoubtedly a prospect worth outlaying precious money for in both the short and long term operations of Liverpool Football Club. Competition will be fierce, but it is clear to me that Eriksen is well grounded and could be persuaded by our illustrious history and the major pull of a compatriot in the form of Daniel Agger.”

NEXT: Mario Gotze >>>

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

“It is my firm belief that Mario Götze, Borussia Dortmund’s versatile attacking-midfielder could be the player to focus a lot of our effort on landing this summer.

Named Europe’s Top U-21 Player in 2011, the gifted attacker can operate in a number of roles across the midfield be it in a deep-lying play-making capacity, on the wings or in the hole.

Although graced with delicate skill and control, Götze’s vision is the main tool in his armoury; evident in the 18 assists and six goals he provided during Dortmund’s championship-winning campaign. This season’s tally stands five goals and five assists a piece.

Götze qualities are rare and given our lack of genuine creative players he would fill that void with aplomb. Long-term, Götze could take the place of skipper Steven Gerrard.

The 19-year-old is more than up-and-coming, having cemented his place in Dortmund’s first team as well as earning 12 caps Germany.

Regarded as hot property around Europe, will command a huge outlay (£30m approx) but current ability combined with the potential to be one of the world’s leading footballers will justify such a fee.

Despite interest from other clubs, Liverpool could be an attractive prospect for Götze, other big-name clubs rumoured to be chasing his signature are well stocked for creative midfielders so a move where he would be guaranteed playing time could be more appealing, should he buy-in to our current philosophy and long-term vision.

In short, an excellent prospect that should be seriously considered.”

NEXT: Stevan Jovetic >>>

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

Current club: ACF Fiorentina
Date of birth: November 2nd, 1989 (age 22)
Height: 6’0”
Position: Attacking midfielder/Forward
Preferred foot: Right

Advantages:
– Exquisite technique, dribbling skills and finishing
– Passing, creativity and vision
– Mental strength and playing intelligence
– A notable team player
– Physically strong and balanced, decent pace
– Age

Disadvantages:
– Suffered a serious ACL injury from which he took about a year to recover – his fitness needs to be continued monitoring
– Doesn’t track back or press at the level we require, which can put the defensive burden on his teammates

“We have been following Stevan ever since he made his debut for Partizan Belgrade. He is the youngest captain in Partizan’s history, which suggests that he was a strong, reliable character even at the tender age of 18, and he also captains Montenegrin U21 team. While he played as second striker or a lone forward at Partizan, at Fiorentina he plays predominantly as a trequartista and is given freedom to roam around the final third with or without the ball, where he drops into pockets of space, takes on opponents, plays through passes or breaks into the box looking to score. Fiorentina would ask £15-20 millions for his signature and he would require around £50,000 per week in wages. I strongly recommend signing him as he would ease the burden of creativity off Suarez and Gerrard and add a great scoring threat from advanced midfield position.”

NEXT: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar >>>

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar(Schalke)
Contract 2013. £17.5m (fixed buyout-clause)

“Today’s scouting reports tend to be longer than your average FA findings and contain as much conjecture. With the huge transfer-fees involved, it’s easy to become overly-prudent in focusing on a player’s shortcomings and thus end-up talking yourself out of a signing that on the face of it should be a no-brainer.

A natural-born and incredibly prolific goalscorer, who has consistently broken all sorts of goal-scoring records throughout his career, this season bagging a record-breaking 37 in 37 matches for Schalke. Already with 32 in 50 appearances (half as sub!) for Holland, Klaas-Jan seems destined to soon become their leading all-time goalscorer too.

Still…a 29 year-old? Can he hold the ball up well-enough around the center-circle? Does he chase/press/harry the center-backs effectively? Is he good enough for a top-club i.e. a flop at Real and Milan (in hindsight, poor career choices)? Constructive criticism, when taken too far, can be the greatest enemy in scouting players. Football is after all still a simple game – score more than the opposition and you win. Having a player on-board for whom scoring is second-nature helps enormously. What could a Huntelaar-Suarez partnership offer us? A known-good combination with a natural understanding – Suarez with his brilliant unpredictability and Huntelaar as the ultimate predator simply gave Ajax tremendous firepower in 2007/8. They combined to score 50 goals in the Eredivisie, with Suarez bagging 14 assists.

Klass-Jan could be our new Aldo – similar in age, both similarly down-to-earth and humble …and both lethal in the penalty box.”

Mission – Prolific Scorer
Name : Klass Jan Huntelaar
Nationality : Netherlands
History : 345 games, 226 goals

“At 28 years of age Klass Jan Huntelaar is reaching the prime of his career. He is exactly what the record suggests. A goal machine. Instinctive and sharp he is equally confident with either foot or with his head. A natural goalscorer with a great attitude.

Having played for Ajax, Milan and Madrid he has played in some of the worlds biggest matches and excels.

Already fluent in English and costing between 12m-15m Euros, Huntelaar is close friends with Luis Suarez from their time at Ajax where they had a potent partnership. Signing Huntelaar will also allow Suarez to play in his strongest position of to the right of a prolific striker.

Quite Simply, Huntelaar,Suarez and Gerrard will be a potent partnership and will supply and create endless goals.”

NEXT: Welliton >>>

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

“Welliton, age 25, is a Brazilian striker who currently plays for Spartak Moscow. Groomed in Goias’ youth system, he scored 16 goals in 41 appearances before moving to Spartak Moscow in 2007 for £5.28M. Since then, he has established himself as an integral part of the team, scoring 62 goals in 119 appearances in all competitions.

Statistics indicate that Welliton seems to be an all rounded striker. He has scored about half his total goals using his preferred right foot, a quarter of them with his left and a quarter of them by headers. He has racked up an impressive amount of assists for a striker, often setting up his team mates for easy chances or crossing from the flanks for his team mates to score. The video below shows snipets of his strengths: pace, flair, strength and skill.

Welliton has also proven that he is able perform on a bigger stage. He set up a goal for a team mate against Chelsea in the 4-1 loss in the group stage in 2011, while he was one of the scorers in the 3-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam in the same year.

I believe he is the ideal sort of striker needed to compliment our attack force, which is currently missing pace and flair. Welliton has 2 years left to run on his contract. It would be a good time to put in a bid for him and a salary comparable to that of Suarez should be sufficient.”

NEXT: Hulk >>>

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

“In my opinion the area of the squad where we are the weakest at the moment is the right wing. Currently we have no top class player who can cause havoc down our right flank. Therefore it goes without saying that my pick for this round is a player who I feel has the potential to become one of the best right wingers in our recent history: Givanildo Vieira de Souza (aka ‘Hulk’).

Only turning 26 next summer Hulk (as he is popularly known) has set the Portugese Premeira Liga alight since his arrival from Tokyo Verde in 2008. A tricky player with bounds of pace he is exactly the type of player we have been longing for. Not only can he beat his man but he has a cracking left foot which has been the architect of many great goals over his career. Besides numerous assists he scored an impressive 36 goals in 53 games for Porto last season and already has 14 from 30 this season.

Furthermore he is also a hard worker and possesses a winning mentality which has been lacking our collective squad for quite a while now. And what’s more standing at no less than 6 feet tall he will not have many problems adjusting to the physicality of the Premier League either. All of these add up to a player I consider will hopefully be one of our top transfer targets in the summer.”

NEXT: Marko Marin >>>

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

“Marko Marin, the 23 year old German International currently playing for Werder Bremen, is a player I have been watching very closely of late. Young, versatile and quick, Marin possesses all the attributes that Liverpool require in their bid to improve their attacking options for next season.

Although comparisons to Lionel Messi have been made, Marin has a long way to go before he is able to be classed in the same league as the Argentinian. However, like Messi, Marin’s great strengths are his dribbling and his ability to change direction at pace, and quickly.

The right footer, whose favourite position is playing on the left cutting in and trying to get in positions in between the lines, can also play comfortably on the right and through the middle. This clever, versatile player is exactly what Liverpool need to step up to another level and will complement the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard very well.

His contract is up in the summer of 2013, so he should be available for a reasonable price for a player of his undeniable talent. I have no doubts Marin would be a big hit in the Premier League and should be one of our top targets for the summer window.”

Scouting Reports:
Christian EriksenMario GötzeStevan Jovetic
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarWellitonHulkMarko Marin

View From The Kop 2012

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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