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(UK time) 14:26:53

Premier League

18 December 2012

Liverpool should not make Villa transfer mistake for second time

Rafa Benitez had the chance to sign David Villa from Valencia in 2009

Liverpool should not make Villa transfer mistake for second time

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If Liverpool learnt anything from their defeat to Aston Villa it is that possession guarantees nothing and they failed to really test Brad Guzan across the whole 90 minutes.

A lack of competition to Luis Suarez has been well documented, but some added creativity would also not go amiss and signing David Villa would tick both boxes.

One of Liverpool’s biggest mistakes in recent seasons is arguably not jumping at the chance to buy Villa from Valencia when Barcelona were stalling on the deal in 2009.

Pep Guardiola eventually got his man in his second summer at the Barca helm, but the board refused to fund a deal at the first time of asking with Valencia holding out for a sum of around £35m.

Liverpool and Tottenham were both heavily linked at the time, but also failed to complete the deal.

Under Rafa Benitez and with his Valencia ties, Liverpool would have been in the driving seat and Villa was potentially one of the most complete strikers in the world at the time – he was a prolific finisher, hard working and intelligent on the ball and with his runs.

Guardiola converted him slightly to perform in a wider role and he showed his team qualities by continuing to shine.

One of the big problems that Barcelona and, to a point, the Spanish national team had was that they kept the ball incessantly well, but were too narrow.

Villa’s uncanny ability to remain extremely wide helped open up extra space for the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi to pick passes, while he still was able to influence play with goals and assists.

Starting on the left, Villa could have a similar benefit for Liverpool, linking with Steven Gerrard and a maturing Jonjo Shelvey and creating additional chances for Luis Suarez.

Villa has rarely started this season under Tito Vilanova and would potentially be allowed to leave Barcelona in the summer with his contract up in 2014.

A bid of £15m would surely be enough, although this may be a bit pricey for a player in his thirties.

Qualifying for the Champions League next season would help Liverpool attract not only Villa, but other high-profile signings and it is currently 9/1 that they finish in the top four.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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editors@ladbrokes.co.uk

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