With Steven Gerrard leaving for LA Galaxy, it’s inevitable that who the club might bring in to replace him will be a major point for speculation in the coming months. The player Gerrard is today isn’t the one who carried Liverpool five or ten years ago, so talk of the club desperately needing to make up for his impending absence may be a touch misguided, but losing a club legend means it’s going to happen anyway.
An early name to tack up as a potential Gerrard replacement, at least according to Germany’s Sport Bild, is Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira. He’s a player who certainly fits the perceived need for Liverpool to bring in a marquee name, one who could slot straight into the starting eleven. He’s also available to sign on a free, with his current contract expiring in the summer and no sign he plans to stick around at Madrid beyond the end of the season.
His wage demands would likely be fairly high coming from Madrid, but for a 27-year-old in the prime years of his career who would be worth upwards of £30M on the open market based on his talent, he makes for a compelling possibility. Unfortunately, he also makes for an injury prone possibility, which is a big part of the reason why he’s fallen down the pecking order at Madrid and his contract has been allowed to run down.
Already in the 2014-15 campaign, Khedira has missed 19 games over two and a half months thanks to five separate injuries. He ruptured his ACL in November of 2013 and missed the rest of that season. His talent is unquestioned, but as was the case with Lucas at Liverpool, Khedira is still working through the after-effects of that ACL injury, and even before it he was considered an injury prone player.
That reputation could mean that the biggest clubs will pass on him, though, which could provide an opportunity for Liverpool to land him, and early rumours of a Bayern Munich move this summer have now been replaced by talk of him heading to Schalke instead. Still, Khedira would be a massive gamble on a half-fit player who hasn’t yet returned to his pre-ACL injury form. The potential upside, though, certainly makes the idea intriguing.