Despite scoring the fourth-most goals in the Premier League, Liverpool would help itself this summer by signing Iago Aspas.
Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror reported the Reds are interested in a transfer, and it may be close to happening:
The Celta Vigo forward was wanted by Chelsea and Reading in January, but only the relegation-bound Royals made an official bid and Celta refused to sell their man for less than his €10 million release clause.
However, with rock-bottom Celta now looking set for relegation from La Liga, the Anfield giants want to take advantage of his clause dropping to €7m and have offered him a £45,000-a-week deal.
Celta Vigo is last in the Spanish league table. The club is not mathematically relegated yet, but it has to make up four points in three matches on 17th-place Deportivo La Coruna and hope the other two clubs in the relegation zone drop points as well. If Celta is relegated, Aspas would be a bit of a bargain.
Attack wasn't a major problem for the Reds last season, especially after the arrival of Daniel Sturridge in January. As the Luis Suarez suspension illustrates, though, Liverpool is lacking the necessary depth at striker.
Chris Bascombe and Luke Edwards of the Daily Telegraph reported earlier in the week that Andy Carroll could be off to West Ham United. It's the best move for both parties, but that would leave Suarez, Sturridge, Fabio Borini, Adam Morgan and Samed Yesil as the only recognized strikers. You can probably discount Morgan and Yesil for next season considering their collective inexperience.
The club can't possibly expect to stand pat with what it has and remain optimistic about finishing in the top four.
Along with simply being another body, Aspas can be the kind of centre-forward who can play off of Suarez, Sturridge, Coutinho and the other more creative options in the attack. Brendan Rodgers can slot in Aspas near the box and ask him to hold up the ball. However, Aspas can also play in more of a secondary role if need be.
He's a very versatile forward who is constantly running around the pitch. Aspas' movement is very strong. He's not a tremendous athlete, but he more than makes up for that with a great amount of intelligence of when to start his runs and where to be in order to maximize his impact.
With Celta only scoring 34 goals in 36 league matches, Aspas has been asked to do a lot for his team's attack. So far, he's duly delivered and done very well making the leap from the Segunda Division to La Liga. Last season, Aspas scored 23 goals in 35 league matches. In his first year in La Liga, he's found the net 11 times and notched five assists in 32 matches.
Should Suarez stay, Liverpool has good options up top with he and Sturridge. Suarez is one of the best forwards in the Premier League, and Sturridge should be able to build upon the form he showed in the second half of the season.
The club doesn't need to go after a world-class finisher. It would be great to have Robin van Persie, Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, etc., but that kind of player isn't going to come to Anfield right now. Plus, Liverpool doesn't have an endless supply of money to spend this summer.
That's why Aspas is such a nice target for the summer. He's not going to come in demanding high wages and first-team football every week. He'll be happy to remain a second or third option in the attack.
Meanwhile, the Reds would have only spent €7 million. That leaves plenty of money to address the hole at centre-back and add another defensive midfielder to alleviate the pressure on Lucas.
With the way Liverpool finished out the season, there's no reason to think that with the right moves and luck turning around a little bit, the Reds can realistically challenge for the top four. Signing Aspas would be the first step in that process.
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