Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has hinted he’s on the hunt for more technically gifted, attacking players in the mould of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho when the January transfer opens and Juan Manuel Iturbe certainly fits the picture.
Defeat at Arsenal served as a bucket of cold water to the face for Liverpool, after a fine start to their Premier League campaign had provoked illusions of grandeur in some quarters.
This wake-up call has prompted Rodgers to speculate over possible January signings which could strengthen his squad, as the Reds attempt to break back into the top four this season – a quest which has seen Liverpool’s odds drift to 7/5 from 6/5 after that Emirates defeat.
“I think my history as a coach shows I like players who are gifted technically and have courage when it comes to being in possession of a football,” said Rodgers.
“That is a key quality for me; can you be brave on the pitch, not in terms of 50-50 tackles but having the ball and looking to play in areas others wouldn’t?”
After the immediate impact of both his winter additions last season in the form of Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho, it’s no surprise to hear of the Reds being linked to 20-year-old Argentine Iturbe, who is currently thriving on loan at Serie A side Verona.
Rodgers had set his sights on both Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa and Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer, but following failure to land either big name he may well be tempted to launch a bid for the fleet-footed Iturbe, who has scored twice in seven Serie A matches this season.
The terms of his loan deal from Porto reportedly let him leave for a fee of £11.75m, though the Reds will face stiff competition from Inter Milan reportedly.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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