Brazilian heritage makes Liverpool’s latest target one to swerve

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The football world has become accustomed to seeing the names of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the head of the Champions League scoring charts. One of the great rivals has taken the honour in each of the last seven seasons, but this campaign is different.

With nine goals through the group stage and last 16, Shakthar Donetsk’s Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano leads the La Liga pair by one.

It’s unlikely that will remain the case for long, however, as both Barcelona and Real Madrid remain in the competition, while Shakthar were knocked out by Bayern Munich.

Nonetheless, the 27-year-old’s exploits in the tournament have caught the eye of big clubs from more revered divisions, with a host of Premier League sides rumoured to be keen on the striker’s services.

Liverpool are chief among them and will be buoyed by the news that the two-cap international will not seek to renew his contract when it expires in December.

However, as tempting as it may be for the Reds to replace Mario Balotelli, who is still striving for his best form on Merseyside, with the Brazilian, it would be far wiser for Brendan Rodgers to avoid such a lure.

It’s not because the Ukraine-based hitman isn’t a better option than the mischievous Italian, but if a long line of Brazilian strikers have failed to make a mark on the Premier League, why would Luiz Adriano?

Depending on whether you consider Diego Costa officially Spanish or Brazilian, the Chelsea man is the only possible representative from the South American country to have a favourable Premier League record.

Afonso Alves, Robinho, Jo and Julio Baptista are all high-profile examples of Brazilian failures in this country, while lesser known flops like West Ham’s Ilan, Bolton’s Mario Jardel and Coventry’s Isaias make for a compelling case to avoid the Shakthar man.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.