Who Would You Buy? 5 Possible January Replacements For Lucas Leiva
After key Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva was ruled out through injury, here are the 5 players that Liverpool could sign as a replacement:
Liverpool’s hopes of getting into the top 4 this season took a big blow after the recent injury to the man who has been at the heart of the Liverpool midfield, Lucas Leiva.
Reports have confirmed that the Brazilian’s knee ligament damage requires surgery that will rule him out of action for a minimum of 6 months, which means the Reds will be without their ‘most influential player’ for the rest of the season. The 24-year-old was carried off the pitch on a stretcher after a collision with Ryan Bertrand in Liverpool’s Carling Cup victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week.
Numerous possible replacements has been touted by the media and fans. Here are the 5 players that Liverpool could turn to as a replacement for Lucas:
1. Seydou Keita
The Malian international is already seeking a move away from the Camp Nou after failing to hold down a first team place at the club. Keita has been overshadowed by the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas in the eyes of manager Pep Guardiola. The 31-year-old is also in the radar of Russian megabucks side Anzhi Makhachkala and would demand a fee in the region of £8m.
2. Claudio Marchisio
The Juventus midfielder is having a great season so far at the Turin. Marchisio’s greatest asset may not be his defensive capabilities but the Italian international has a very good goal-scoring record so far this season (6 goals in 12 games in the Serie A). A good all round midfielder but not a like-for-like replacement for Leiva, so may need so shifting around to integrate him into the team.
3. Yann M’Vila
Liverpool have reportedly been linked with a movefor Rennes youngster Yann M’Vila. The 21-year-old had a solid season for the French-based club last campaign and has already captured the attention of several top European club including Arsenal and Barcelona. The French international is currently under contract at Rennes until the summer of 2014, but it seems the midfielder is set for a move in the coming months. However, M’Vila is not interested in joining a club where he’s not considered a first team player, potentially ruling out a move to Barce. He recently told L’Equipe:
You can’t leave for a big club to be a substitute. I prefer to stay at my club to improve. I want to work more on the attacking aspect of my game – scoring and assisting.
4. Ever Banega
The Argentine international has become a regular starter for Valencia since making an instant impact at the club last season. He appeared to have nearly joined Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton last summer, but the move couldn’t be completed due to problems acquiring a visa and the transfer eventually fell through. The 23-year-old will be sidelined for at least a month after suffering a knee injury in his side’s recent win over Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League, so a move to Liverpool may be difficult in January.
5. Javi Martinez
Despite being only at the age of 23, the Spanish international is definitely not short of experience as he has already captained the national Under-21 side to victory in the 2011 European Championships in Denmark. Martinez has also featured in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, replacing teammate Xabi Alonso in the 70th minute in Spain’s 2-0 win over Chile in the group stage. The Athletic Bilbao midfielder is already a target for Liverpool, but the Reds will face a big battle for his signature has both the Manchester clubs are also interested in luring Javi Martinez away from his homeland. It’s thought he would cost in the region of £20m, so an expensive option.
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