Thursday 23 May 2019

Life after Luis Suarez: the seven strikers who slipped through net for Liverpool

Luis Suarez claims Liverpool would not have been successful last season without him.
Luis Suarez claims Liverpool would not have been successful last season without him.

Liverpool were linked with a number of strikers over the summer and they seem to be faring a lot better than the current attackers at Anfield.

Loic Remy

Personal terms were agreed, and an £8.5 million deal struck with QPR. Remy had even measured up for the No 7 shirt at Anfield. Then he found himself being escorted to numerous hospitals in Boston during the club’s pre-season tour. Liverpool pulled out of the deal on medical grounds and Remy joined Chelsea.

Appearances for Chelsea: 3

Goals: 1

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Loic Remy still harbours hopes of playing for Chelsea against Manchester United

Alexis Sanchez

Liverpool made their interest in Sanchez known to Barcelona during negotiations to sell Luis Suarez. Brendan Rodgers was ready to fly to Chile to convince Sanchez to snub Arsenal for Liverpool but never made it to passport control. Instead, Sanchez’s ‘desire to live in London’ was widely quoted as a principle reason for the Merseyside club missing out.

Appearances for Arsenal: 8

Goals: 5

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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the match between Sunderland and Arsenal at the Stadium of Light. Michael Regan/Getty Images

Wilfried Bony

Bony has the opportunity to show Liverpool what they are missing when Swansea visit in the Capital One Cup tonight. Brendan Rodgers was interested in the Ivory Coast forward last summer, but the combination of a £16 million asking price and excessive wage demands meant the Merseyside club ended their interest.

Appearances for Swansea (this season): 10

Goals: 4

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Wilfried Bony celebrates scoring Swansea's second goal against Leicester City. Clive Rose/Getty Images

Samuel Eto’o

Personal terms were agreed with Eto’o and a medical scheduled, but the African was seen as a back-up option if talks with Mario Balotelli did not progress. While Eto’o waited for Liverpool’s decision, Everton – who’d made the first approach weeks earlier – stepped in and secured a free transfer after Liverpool signed the Italian.

Appearances for Everton: 5

Goals: 3

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Samuel Eto'o celebrates with Leighton Baines after scoring Everton's opening goal in their Premier League win over Burnley at Turf Moor. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Radamel Falcao

Liverpool were in constant contact with Jorge Mendes during the summer, hoping to secure Falcao on a season’s loan. A combination of believing Falcao was waiting for Real Madrid, and the costs of the deal being well beyond what Liverpool considered financially viable, ensured interest ended. Manchester United had the cash and will to make the deal happen.

Appearances for Manchester United: 4

Goals: 1

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Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring his first goal for Manchester United, the winner against Everton in the Premier League clash at Old Trafford. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Karim Benzema

Fanciful as it seems, when Falcao was believed to be going to Real Madrid, Liverpool considered Benzema would become available. Instead the French striker signed a new deal at the Bernabeu. Realistically, it is doubtful Liverpool would have had the cash to lure Benzema to Anfield, and if he does become available in future there will be a scramble for his signature.

Appearances for Real Madrid (this season): 13

Goals: 8

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Real Madrid's Benzema fires past Barcelona's goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to make it 3-1. REUTERS/Stringer

Edinson Cavani

Another on the elite list of strikers Liverpool considered, but the clash between fantasy and reality may have intervened here. Paris St Germain paid £55 millon for Cavani in 2013. There is little evidence to support the view Liverpool would have been able to reimburse PSG anywhere close to this and meet 27-year-old Cavani’s salary expectations.

Appearances for PSG (this season): 14

Goals: 6

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Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani celebrates with his teammates after scoring against APOEL Nicosia. Photo credit: REUTERS/Andreas Manolis

...the one they captured...

Mario Balotelli joined for £16m from Milan but his honeymoon lasted barely a month. In the absence of the injured Daniel Sturridge, the Italian's minimal contribution has frustrated fans and pundits and came to a head when he was seen swapping shirts with Pepe during half-time of Liverpool's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard speaks with teammate Mario Balotelli. Photo credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

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