When word leaked that Liverpool, desperately in need of attacking reinforcements, had launched a £24.5M bid for Shakhtar Donetsk’s versatile attacker Alex Teixeira, fans were rightly excited. With little bustle or fanfare, the club were in the latter stages of negotiations for a player who can play anywhere in the attack and has scored 26 goals in 26 appearances this season.
Managing director Ian Ayre was reportedly in Florida, negotiating with Shakhtar’s representatives away for the club’s winter break and mid-season training camp. Talks were at an advanced stage. There was even the chance a deal could be done before the weekend. Then, Teixeira suffered a hamstring injury in training. It isn’t clear yet how serious the injury is or if it might stop the transfer.
It also isn’t a bad joke, something Liverpool fans can be forgiven for thinking when news of his injury first flashed across their screens. In recent weeks, Liverpool had as many as eight first team players sidelined by hamstring injury. That number has gone down, but Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren, and Martin Skrtel remain unavailable due to the club’s pesky hamstring bug.
When it comes to Teixeira, though, the good news is that it may only be a very minor strain, with reports attributed to Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu claiming the player is being held out of action purely as a precautionary move. Still, a hamstring injury, no matter how minor, is the last thing Liverpool fans wanted to hear about next to the name of an exciting attacking target.
Teixeira, now 26 years old, began his career at Vasco de Gama in Brazil before moving to Shakhtar in 2010. Since then, he has scored 89 goals in 222 appearances for the Ukrainian side, though he started out often playing more support or wide positions and in recent seasons has developed into one of the club’s main goal threats, netting 48 in 62 over the past two years.