I generally pay very little attention to transfer speculation, as very little of it ever comes to fruition. However, when Inside Futbol reported that “Liverpool have stepped up their search for another striker by requesting information about the availability of Alessandro Matri” I thought I’d check out his record seeing as there’s a very real chance that he’ll be leaving Juventus; as Tevez and Llorente have been brought in by the Italian champions this summer, Matri’s chances to play will surely be pretty scarce in 2013/14.
Having checked out some brief scoring stats, I’m beginning to think he should perhaps be on Brendan Rodgers’ shopping list.
Whilst it has to be acknowledged that he only had a relatively small sample of shots in 2012/13, his conversion record compares favourably with the majority of strikers who scored twenty-or-more goals in Europe’s big five leagues this season, and unlike some of them, his tally has not been boosted by penalties:
It’s also interesting to note that amongst his sixty-three career goals in Serie A, he has twenty-six right foot strikes, nine with his left, plus eight headers and seven tap-ins (info taken from Transfermarkt), so he appears to be a predator who is no one-trick (or one-foot) pony.
In total, Matri has scored a goal every 187 minutes in Serie A across his career, with a goal involvement every 148 mins if you factor in his seventeen assists. That’s pretty impressive for a player in a famously defensive league, especially as 64% of his league minutes to date were with perennial strugglers Calgliari, and not one of the Italian big guns.
He’s not especially creative, with a chance created every eighty-one minutes across the last four seasons, but if the Reds want a guy to stick the ball in the back of the net, then it seems they could do a lot worse.
However, Matri turns 29 next month, so wouldn’t appear to fit in with FSG’s much trumpeted policy of focussing on youth, and I’m reliably informed he may not suit Brendan Rodgers’ favoured style of play.
That said, as the Suárez saga will no doubt drag on until the final days of the transfer window, the Reds may not have too much time to find a suitable replacement with youth on his side, and so it would certainly be prudent to keep a shortlist of available goal scorers to hand.
The Juve man certainly appears to know where the goal is, and I think Liverpool should at least keep him on their radar whilst the final composition of their 2013/14 forward line remains uncertain.
Related posts you might like:
Hold Your Nerve (Now and Next Season) – Some thoughts on Liverpool’s transfer activity so far in summer 2013.
Mkhitaryan vs Eriksen: Champions League Showdown – Two supposed transfer targets for the Reds, but who has performed better in Europe’s top club competition?