Hi, kids! Do you like sliding tackles, whipped crosses and 50-yard diagonals? Well, step right up, because Leandro Paredes is basically those three things wrapped in a boyishly handsome Argentinian bow, and he's available at a reasonable price.
Jürgen Klopp's yearlong hunt for a tempo-setting central midfielder has been covered exhaustively by rumour mongering tabloids and well-connected journalists alike, and the speculation doesn't look like it's going to abate anytime soon. Roma's Paredes is the last in a long line of potential solutions to Klopp's midfield conundrum, and with speculation about Mahmoud Dahoud, Rúben Neves, Geoffrey Kondogbia, and Naby Keïta coming and going, the 22-year old Argentinian might be the one that sticks.
Arriving in the eternal city from Boca Juniors in 2014, Paredes got his feet wet for the giallorossi, before spending his second year on loan at Empoli. This season, he has battled it out with Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan for minutes in a midfield loaded with quality. As a result, his game time has been limited, providing motivation to move on, and with only two years left on his deal, this summer likely represents Roma's last chance to collect a representative sum for the player.
As mentioned, Paredes' game revolves around sliding into challenges, picking the ball up and looking for the quick release, ideally to a streaking winger on the opposite flank. His crossfield passing is a sight to behold, and would fit nicely into the Reds' counterattacking game. The Argentinian's right peg can deliver a wicked cross as well, connecting with a team-mate on nearly 30% of his attempts, and his set pieces often cause havoc in the opposition box, with corners leading to a shot on every 5th attempt, twice as often as Liverpool manage. How Paredes has only registered a single assist in his Serie A career thus far is a mystery, considering how often he sets up others for shots.
The Boca Juniors product was tenuously linked with a move to Merseyside both last summer and in January, and this may very well be a(nother) case of lazy rumour mongers recycling old speculation, but Paredes wouldn't be a bad fit for the Reds — eternal Serie A to Premier League caveat notwithstanding — and looks likely to move this summer, unless Roma were to unload one of their other central midfielders. Anfield would be a good spot for him to land.