Oh Don Balon. Having previously avoided the crowded English transfer rumour waters, the Spanish sports magazine has accumulated an impressive list of baseless transfer speculation over the last year, largely linking Real Madrid players with Liverpool. James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, and Mateo Kovacic have all reportedly been on the verge of joining the Anfield outfit, yet all of them remain on the Bernabeu books.
Predictably, then, Don Balon’s latest creation is another piece of pure fabrication. Karim Benzema may very well be on the way out after 188 goals in eight and a half years in the Spanish capitol, and the £35m price tag isn’t outrageous for a 30-year old in this market, but beyond his goalscoring record — elite as it is — the former Lyon striker ticks not a single box for Jürgen Klopp’s system or FSG’s philosophy.
A traditional number nine, the Frenchman is a fine line leader, but his work rate off the ball doesn’t pass muster in Klopp Land, and while his physicality would serve him well in the Premier League, his lack of pace in 2018 would make him a poor fit for the counter attacking methodology Liverpool’s German manager prefers. A marked drop in both his production and the underlying numbers over the past two seasons further paints the picture of a clearly diminished player.
One to stick firmly in the bullshit folder, in other words. Now, if the Don could get us a link to Marco Asensio, we’ll believe it. Cos we’re self-delusional like that.