Liverpool are being linked with an £8million move for Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain striker Ezequiel Lavezzi.
The 29-year-old has been a long-term target of the Reds, even before he moved from Napoli to the Ligue 1 side, and with Liverpool's well-documented goalscoring problems, looks a good option to help the stuttering side.
However, although Lavezzi commanded a €30m in the summer of 2012, he is far from the player he once was. In 17 matches for PSG this season, Lavezzi has scored only two goals and provided two assists for team-mates in what has been a poor campaign.
The forward has not been picked by Laurent Blanc since the 1-0 defeat at Guingamp on 14 December. Blanc has been unimpressed by Lavezzi, and Edinson Cavani, calling their recent behaviour disrespectful.
"These two players have done something unacceptable. It's a total lack of respect towards the club. It's to be expected that the decision to punish them was unanimous."
Comparing Lavezzi with Liverpool's three forwards (using Squawka's comparison matrix), Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert, and another potential target Gonzalo Higuain, Lavezzi rates better than Balotelli and Lambert, unsurprisingly, but has not done as well as Higuain and Sterling, though he has played less than half the minutes.
With Balotelli and Lambert only having one goal between them, Lavezzi has one more than those two but half as many as Sterling (who has operated in midfield this season); Higuain has nine of his own.
Neither Lambert nor Balotelli have an assist, while Higuain and Sterling each have four. Lavezzi usually finds the target when he shoots, but he has only had 12 shots in total, way fewer than Balotelli - who has had 47 shots without scoring - Sterling and Higuain.
He has created more chances than the two Liverpool flops, but again is nowhere close to Sterling and Higuain.
Lavezzi usually operates around a main striker, doing a lot of the leg work for a more traditional No 9. He has not been a prolific striker since coming to Europe, never posting double figures in a league season, while he took 48 matches to score 12 in 2013-14. Lavezzi can be relied on to provide for a strike partner, however, and has 21 assists in his two and a half seasons for PSG.
Higuain would be the more prolific choice, but would likely cost upwards of £25m. With Daniel Sturridge coming back, Lavezzi could be a better option as he would compliment the England goalscorer - Higuain and Sturridge may struggle in the same team.
Lavezzi would appear to be a shrewd move, at a reasonable price, if there wasn't a great goalscoring expectation from him - he has never been that player.
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