Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Reds in Danger of Missing out on Willian

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2013

KHIMKI, RUSSIA - JULY 19: Willian of FC Anzhi Makhachkala walks onto the field during the Russian Premier League match between FC Dinamo Moscow and FC Anzhi Makhachkala at the Arena Khimki Stadium on July 19, 2013 in Khimki, Russia.  (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)
Epsilon/Getty Images

Liverpool have company in their pursuit of Brazilian international Willian, with Tottenham reportedly poised to make a late move for the Anzhi Makhachkala man, according to The Mirror's Darren Lewis. 

Lewis claims the Anfield club have offered a fee around the £26 million mark, with Willian's Russian side demanding £30 million for their player.

Along with several other media outlets, Lewis reveals Tottenham's willingness to improve upon this bid, which—for the moment—puts them in the driving seat.

Lewis notes how Villas-Boas has tried signing Willian before and can offer the Brazilian European football, two factors that could see this saga sway the Londoners' way. However, Lewis also predicts a prolonged tussle for his services, likely to continue until the end of the transfer window.

Elsewhere, The Telegraph's Jason Burt details Spurs' considerable admiration for the player, highlighting Daniel Levy's previous visit to the Ukraine in January and Villas-Boas' desire to bring him to Chelsea. He also adds that the locational pull of London could prove pivotal in Willian's thinking.

However, do Liverpool really need to spend such an extravagant fee on another creative weapon such as Willian?

Few can argue that the Reds didn't impress during their opening outing of the season, yet—despite the convincing display—Brendan Rodgers' side were almost undone by familiar conversion failings.

Their improved incision and final-third fluency led to more shots against Stoke (25) than any other Premier League team managed on the opening weekend. The fact just four percent of these efforts found the net clearly emphasises a greater need.

These spurned opportunities are the very reason Liverpool stuttered last season and show why adding Willian is not essential. Rodgers' side have no problem serving up a multitude of chances for their attackers—no Premier League side averaged more shots per game (19.4) last season; it’s putting those chances away that’s become the pressing issue.

Willian is an explosive option but is primarily another provider, with a career goal-to-game ratio of under one every seven games. The fact Tottenham are now in the race to sign him allows his current club to continually bump up his price and take it far beyond a reasonable fee.

Spending such a hefty, inflated sum on another creative weapon would be useful, and Willian would certainly add to the Reds' creative resources, but it would prove wiser to spend on a more clinical striker, or perhaps a higher-calibre centre-back.

The fact a dominated Stoke so nearly found a way to steal a point shows exactly why end product should be the Reds' priority. Missing out on Willian would be no disaster.


Statistics via WhoScored?