With due respect to Aston Villa, very few Liverpool fans will have been leaping with delight when they saw their side linked with a double-swoop on the Villans.
The Reds have endured a torrid first-half of the season after losing Luis Suarez, and January reinforcements are undoubtedly needed at Anfield, but Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar are unlikely to help the club turn the corner.
Brendan Rodgers’ side host Swansea in their next match, a game Liverpool are 8/11 to win.
The Villa pair could be available for a total fee of £15m as their contracts expire in the summer, a cut-price deal that has apparently pricked the ears of the transfer committee at Anfield.
However, Liverpool already have a legion of centre-backs and midfielders on their books, and it’s far from clear that Vlaar and Delph would be an improvement on their existing options.
In defence, £20m summer signing Dejan Lovren has been poor since leaving Southampton, but is Rodgers really going to elevate Vlaar above him and the £15m Mamadou Sakho?
Both of the pricy pair, along with Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel, average more tackles per 90 minutes than Vlaar, and all but Sakho are producing more clearances per match as well.
If Rodgers wants to improve his defence, he has to buy a better player than the ones he has, and Vlaar simply doesn’t fit the bill.
It’s a similar story with Delph, who makes less tackles per 90 than the following Liverpool central midfielders: all of them.
Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Emre Can have all proved more tenacious than the Villa man this term, making it tricky to guess exactly what Rodgers sees in Delph, who is hardly a prolific creator either.
Rather than inflate their already bloated squad further with two additions that won’t improve their first team, Liverpool should be saving their pennies for a special purchase.
Simply put, a double-swoop on Aston Villa is as bad an idea as it sounds.
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