‘Tough tackling midfielder with class on the ball’ to sign for Liverpool?

first_imgFootball statistics analysts WhoScored put a rumoured Liverpool transfer target under the microscope – check out lots more Liverpool statistics at WhoScored.com.Liverpool’s 4-1 thumping at Arsenal on Saturday was only the sixth league game Brendan Rodgers has lost in the second half of a season during his three-year tenure at the helm of the Merseyside club.Defeat at the Emirates dented the Reds’ chances of finishing in the top four this season, though Manchester City’s loss at Crystal Palace on Monday night will have boosted Liverpool’s hopes of returning to the Champions League.With the need to swell the ranks due to the increase in football that comes with playing in Europe’s elite club competition, Liverpool need to be ready to spend big in order to improve.With Steven Gerrard departing for MLS in the summer, the midfield is a key area that needs strengthening once the transfer window re-opens and with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.19, Frenchman Geoffrey Kondogbia supposedly tops Liverpool’s wanted list.The Monaco star has shot to prominence this season due to Les Rouges et Blancs’ progression to the quarter final stage of the Champions League.Kondogbia opened the scoring in their memorable 3-1 win at Arsenal in February, turning out a performance that warranted a WhoScored.com rating of 8.9 and the man of the match award.His display in north London, coupled with his performances in Ligue 1, will have led to potential suitors casting a watchful eye over the French Riviera.Given Liverpool’s lack of drive in the middle of the park and Gerrard’s inevitable departure, links with a move to Anfield come as little shock.Emre Can has been converted into right-sided a centre-back in Rodgers’ now favoured 3-4-3 formation, with the Reds perhaps needing to bolster their midfield as a result.Lucas Leiva provides steel in this position, and that is highlighted in that the Brazilian is averaging more tackles per league game (4.1) than any other Liverpool player this season.Kondogbia, though, does not fare much worse, averaging a modest 2.8 tackles per league match, helping him gain a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘tackling’.However, it’s his ability to carry possession forward that has won him numerous admirers. An average of 1.9 successful dribbles per game is an impressive return for a player who is generally viewed as a tough-tackling, ball-winning midfielder.Compared to all Liverpool players, only Raheem Sterling (3.1), Philippe Coutinho (2.9) and Jordon Ibe (2.8) are averaging more dribbles per game than Kondogbia. The three Reds stars are renowned for their dribbling ability, which only accentuates Kondogbia’s capability in this regard.Utilising his power and strength, the young France international would only improve a Liverpool midfield that can be considered lightweight following Can’s move to centre-back.Having failed to live up to expectations following a move to Sevilla in 2012, it could have been suggested that Kondogbia would be unable to realise his potential. However, after securing a switch to Monaco in 2013, the youngster is flourishing. With Liverpool needing to bolster their ranks in the middle of the park, the 22-year-old would be an astute acquisition given his current ability and capacity to develop further.However, the Reds would need to dig deep to convince the Ligue 1 outfit to sell one of their prized assets.With the competition they are likely to face for his signature expected to be high, Liverpool must act swiftly if they are to convince Kondogbia his future lies on Merseyside.For more stats on reported Liverpool target Geoffrey Kondogbia, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page 1 Geoffrey Kondogbia last_img

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