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Rumour Mongering: Lavezzi Links Persist

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Rumours linking Ezequiel Lavezzi to Liverpool won't go away, but while he might be the kind of big name that would satisfy some fans, he isn't the striker everybody knows the club needs.

Giuseppe Bellini

Off and on for the past month, Liverpool have been linked with Paris Saint-Germain's Ezequiel Lavezzi. A pacy, tricky, veteran winger; a player who will drive at defenders and, when on his game, can unsettle opponents in much the way Luis Suarez does. And also, at times, who can be a quite frustrating figure, a player who will hold the ball too long and has never shown a finishing touch.

With Liverpool's youth elsewhere in attack and a rumoured £17M asking price as PSG look to sell, he makes for an intriguing target. A splashy signing and instantly recognisable name. And just about every English media outlet is linking him to Liverpool. He also wouldn't seem to fill a need in Liverpool's squad at the moment, and his poor finishing means that wherever he might fit in, it wouldn't be at centre forward.

The wide areas are amongst Liverpool's deepest. Raheem Sterling and Lazar Markovic are highly capable wingers, while Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana have spent much of their careers as wide playmakers. When Brendan Rodgers goes 4-2-3-1 as against Southampton, Jordan Henderson is also added to the mix, and Fabio Borini—who still shows no intention of leaving—spent much of last season on the wing.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are heading back into the Champions League with a striker depth chart comprising an injury-prone Daniel Sturridge and a talented Plan B option in Rickie Lambert, plus for the time being at least Fabio Borini. That isn't enough, especially if Rodgers plans on employing the 4-4-2 diamond with any regularity, which pre-season and the league opener suggest he will.

Rodgers knows that isn't enough for Europe, and has spoken about his need to find another striker before the transfer window closes in two weeks. And Ezequiel Lavezzi most certainly isn't that. Lavezzi scored a goal every four games at Napoli. At PSG his return dropped to one in every six games. Over the past five years, he has a strike rate of 10%, meaning it takes him ten shots to get a goal.

Raheem Sterling last season had a 20% strike rate, Luis Suarez had a 17% return, and Sturridge had 21%. Teammate Edinson Cavani had a 17% strike rate. None of which makes Lavezzi a poor player, but rather serves to confirm what those who have much watched him over the years already know: he isn't a striker. If he is a Liverpool target, then he's not the striker Rodgers knows he needs to get in before the window closes.