15 Forwards Who Could Replace Raheem Sterling If He Leaves Liverpool

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With the likelihood of Raheem Sterling departing Liverpool this summer increasing by the day, Jack Lusby finds 15 forwards who could replace him on Merseyside.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 25, 2014: Liverpool's Raheem Sterling looks dejected after missing a chance against Manchester City during the Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After the news that Raheem Sterling is set to tell Liverpool he wants to be sold this summer, there seems to be one sensible course of action for the Reds.

Instead of holding Sterling to ransom on his current £35,000-a-week contract and risk losing him for free in 2017, the club would be wise to sever their ties and sell to the highest bidder.

Although Sterling is one of the Premier League‘s best young players, having scored seven goals and seven assists in 35 league games so far this season, as well as averaging 3.04 dribbles and 2.01 key passes per 90 minutes, a fee of between £35 million and £50 million would still represent great business.

So if they sell the 20-year-old this summer, who can replace him?

Here are 15 forwards that Liverpool should consider.

 

Heung-Min Son (Bayer Leverkusen)

Age: 22
Nationality: South Korean
Position: Left winger

Heung-Min Son was linked with a £15 million move to Liverpool earlier this month after encouraging words from his agent, and the Bayer Leverkusen winger would be an obvious choice to replace Sterling this summer.

Son has scored 11 goals and made two assists in 29 Bundesliga games this season, and averages 2.01 dribbles and 1.48 key passes per 90 minutes.

An added bonus is Son’s suitability to a centre-forward’s role, with the South Korean able to support an ailing Daniel Sturridge when required, too.

 

Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim)

Age: 22
Nationality: German
Position: Right winger

Son’s Liverpool links were partially spurred by reports suggesting Leverkusen could move for Hoffenheim winger Kevin Volland, but perhaps the Reds could circumvent this process and opt for the German model instead.

Volland has scored eight goals and made three assists in 31 Bundesliga games in 2014/15, averaging 2.24 dribbles and 1.4 key passes per 90.

The 22-year-old has a reported £10.8 million release clause in his contract, available this summer, and would be a solid replacement for Sterling with great potential to develop.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)

Age: 25
Nationality: Gabonese
Position: Right winger

Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another player that has been linked with a move to Liverpool in recent weeks, and would represent a fine, ready-made solution to the Sterling problem.

Lightning fast, with great movement and finishing ability, Aubameyang has scored 15 goals and made six assists in 32 Bundesliga games this term, with an average of 0.72 dribbles and 1.27 key passes per 90.

Like Son, he could also be used as a centre-forward if required.

 

Paul-Georges Ntep (Stade Rennais)

Age: 22
Nationality: French
Position: Left winger

Another forward linked with the Reds as the season nears its end is Stade Rennais’ Paul-Georges Ntep—although suggestions that he had visited Melwood already seem wide of the mark.

Ntep has scored nine goals and made five assists in 34 Ligue 1 games this season, averaging 2.52 dribbles and 1.49 key passes per 90.

An effective, pacy left winger, but with his tactical limitations, Ntep would be a reasonable option for Liverpool.

 

Yevhen Konoplyanka (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk)

Age: 25
Nationality: Ukrainian
Position: Left winger

Remember Yevhen Konoplyanka? Liverpool’s transfer nadir of January 2014?

Having failed in their move for the Dnipro winger last year, perhaps the Reds would see more success this summer, with Konoplyanka set to see out his contract at the end of this month and available on a free transfer—he’d be well worth it as a Sterling replacement.

Konoplyanka has scored seven goals and made three assists in 20 Premier Liga games so far this season.

 

Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao)

Age: 22
Nationality: Spanish
Position: Left winger

Long considered one of the brightest young prospects in European football, Iker Muniain has stagnated somewhat at Athletic Bilbao of late, scoring just one goal and making one assist in 25 La Liga games this season, and it may take a move to rekindle his true quality.

Muniain is a great source of build-up play, and has averaged 2.54 dribbles and 1.2 key passes per 90 minutes.

He could, however, be a risk signing. Muniain is currently sidelined with a knee ligament injury, and is set to return in September.

Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid)

Age: 22
Nationality: Spanish
Position: Right winger

One of the most profitable approaches Liverpool could take in selling Sterling this summer would be to arrange a player-plus-cash deal with prospective buyers—one such subject could be Real Madrid’s Jese Rodriguez.

Jese, who returned from injury earlier this season, has scored just two goals in 15 La Liga games this season but, averaging 3.3 dribbles and 1.36 key passes per 90, he clearly has the quality to succeed.

 

Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo, on loan from Juventus)

Age: 20
Nationality: Italian
Position: Right winger

Another player who may require some careful negotiation to attain this summer could be Juventus’ Domenico Berardi, 20, who is currently tearing up Serie A on loan with Sassuolo, scoring 14 goals and making eight assists in just 30 games from the right wing.

Berardi has also averaged 1.33 dribbles and 1.23 key passes per 90 minutes.

While Champions League finalists Juventus will represent a more attractive home for Berardi, their near-complete signing of Paulo Dybala could point to an opportunity for the Reds.

 

Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille)

Age: 25
Nationality: Ghanaian
Position: Left winger

Another player, like Konoplyanka, who would be available on a free transfer this summer is Marseille winger Andre Ayew, and the 25-year-old would be a shrewd acquisition for the Reds.

Ayew has scored 10 goals and made three assists in 27 Ligue 1 games this season, averaging 1.53 dribbles and 0.74 key passes per 90.

 

Joel Campbell (Villarreal, on loan from Arsenal)

Age: 22
Nationality: Costa Rican
Position: Right winger

Tipped for big things at Arsenal after the World Cup, Joel Campbell wasn’t given an opportunity by Arsene Wenger in the Premier League, before being sent to Villarreal on loan—he hasn’t fared spectacularly as a bit-part player in La Liga, but is still a promising young talent.

Campbell has scored just once in 15 La Liga games, but has averaged 2.26 dribbles and 1.62 key passes per 90—when he plays, he is effective.

Able to play all across the front line, Campbell would suit Rodgers’ system well.

 

Andriy Yarmolenko (Dynamo Kyiv)

Age: 25
Nationality: Ukrainian
Position: Right winger

Another Ukrainian showboating in the Premier Liga that Liverpool should target is Dynamo Kyiv’s Andriy Yarmolenko, who has scored 14 goals and made 14 assists in just 24 games so far this season.

While Konoplyanka is pacy and skilful, Yarmolenko is more athletic and dominant in attacking areas—in this respect, the 25-year-old would be an upgrade on Sterling.

 

Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (AS Monaco)

Age: 21
Nationality: Belgian
Position: Left winger

As Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of AS Monaco, the player who put the finishing touches on the Ligue 1 side’s victory in the first leg, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, announced himself in style with a pacy run and confident finish.

Still raw, Carrasco has scored five goals and made 10 assists in 35 league games this season, averaging 2.89 dribbles and 1.39 key passes per 90.

 

Lucas Andersen (Ajax)

Age: 20
Nationality: Danish
Position: Right winger

Since joining Ajax from AaB in 2012, Lucas Andersen has progressed slowly in the Eredivisie, and this term has scored just two goals and made three assists in 27 games. He has, however, averaged 2.55 dribbles and 1.66 key passes per 90.

Andersen would be more of a prospect than a ready-made solution, but he is a huge prospect, and may be worth a bid.

 

Pedro (Barcelona)

Age: 27
Nationality: Spanish
Position: Right winger

From a blossoming prospect to an established, top-class star, this summer may be the summer that Liverpool finally land Barcelona’s Pedro. As mentioned, the peripheral figure could perhaps be acquired via a player-plus-cash deal with the Catalan club.

Despite the dominance of Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Luis Suarez this term, Pedro has still scored six goals and made six assists in 34 La Liga games, averaging 1.29 dribbles and 1.11 key passes per 90.

 

Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

Age: 22
Nationality: Mexican
Position: Right winger

Perhaps the least well known name on this list, FC Twente right winger Jesus Manuel Corona could be a bargain for the Reds this summer, and could help fill the void potentially left by Sterling.

Corona has scored nine goals and made four assists in 27 Eredivisie games, averaging 3.72 dribbles and 1.21 key passes per 90.

Even if he wasn’t signed to replace Sterling, Corona could be a fine cut-price addition, given Twente’s financial troubles.

Statistics via Squawka and TransferMarkt.

Which forward would you most like Liverpool to target if Raheem Sterling was to leave this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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