IN quite an unusual departure from the typical transfer guff that we’re generally served at weekends, the Reds were linked with a couple of young ‘up and comers’ who ply their trade in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Far from the likes of Cavani, Zaha and Gaston Ramirez, neither player has been mentioned up to now, and neither is particularly a well-known star, at least not outside of Holland.
The name most touted of the two is undoubtedly Rasmus Elm, a 24 year old Swede who apparently possesses some ability from free-kicks and has a good range of passing.
He’s had a slightly chequered career in Holland so far but has really hit his stride this season and has helped his side AZ Alkmaar rise to just three points behind 2nd placed Feyenoord. Currently AZ’s second highest scorer, he has impressed a great deal this season and would likely be available for between £5 and £7 million. While we’ve been burned quite recently with Charlie Adam (who himself showed similar attributes), it is perhaps the unknown quantity element of Elm that could see him go on to become a success, if he does indeed become a Liverpool player in the post season.
More interestingly for Liverpool fans though is the promise of having an out-and-out goalscorer at the club, one with a strong goals-to-games ratio and a full career still ahead of him. And that is why the potential signing of Luuk de Jong could really give the Reds attack a real boost going in to next season. Much like Elm, I know little of him but his record speaks for itself – 30 goals so far this season for FC Twente and 50 over his last two seasons. Now, we’re all aware of the dangers of assuming players coming from Holland are going to be as prolific in the Premier league as they are at home but at just 21, de Jong really can only get better.
While in the past we’ve spent money on youngsters such as Ngog, le Tallec and Pongolle and expected big things and plenty of goals (that they then subsequently failed to deliver), the young Dutchman has 4 years experience already playing at the highest level in Holland, playing over 130 games so far. He has also represented his country at U19, U21 and senior level, scoring goals at all levels and scored his first full International goal for Holland in September last year, replacing our very own Dirk Kuyt.
I’d be surprised if many Reds fans knew much – or had even heard of – either of these players but the little I do know and the things I’ve read and seen of them I, for one, would be quite happy to see these two youngsters join us over the summer. How would you feel about Rasmus Elm and Luuk de Jong?
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