Yevhen Konoplyanka profile: Is the Liverpool target the real deal?


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The Independent Football

This January has been a quiet one for Liverpool, despite a good start to the season, it appears Brendan Rodgers has been given little cash to play with in this window.

There was talk of Mohamed Salah, but then Chelsea stepped in and gazumped them.

However now a new name is being strongly linked with a switch to Anfield - Dnipro's Yevhen Konoplyanka.

So what would Liverpool fans be getting if they did snap up Konoplyanka?

The Ukrainian winger probably first made an impression on an English audience during his side's World Cup qualifier against Roy Hodgson's team at Wembley.

His long range effort beat Joe Hart and helped secure a 1-1 draw for Ukraine.

Konoplyanka is a pacy, agile winger who would slot easily into Liverpool's preferred formation as he is adept at playing in all three of the attacking midfield roles.

The 24-year-old main strengths are good speed and close control and a good idea of when best to cut inside.

He also is seemingly blessed with a good understanding of where his teammates are which lends itself to creating assists as well as goals.

In terms of weaknesses, the old concern about being able to adjust to the physicality of the Premier League has been mooted but then again this often proves not to be an issue for many players.

In terms of his position in the side, the Ukrainian is probably most naturally at home on the left but could perhaps be used more centrally in the now ubiquitous number 10 role.

While Liverpool are certainly not short of attacking wide players and some may feel his purchase would be an unnecessary luxury when other areas need strengthening, he is of sufficient quality to make his transfer worthwhile no matter Liverpool's squad situation.