Ian Doyle has named the price at which he feels Liverpool ‘should really be in for’ reported transfer target Piero Hincapie.
The Bayer Leverkusen defender has been linked with the Reds in recent days, but according to Christian Falk (via CaughtOffside), there appears to be a sense that the timing isn’t right for them to spend what the Bundesliga club are asking, even with Jurgen Klopp’s squad a little light at the back.
The journalist held a Q&A with Liverpool Echo readers in which he was asked if Jorg Schmadtke would be looking to pull off a deal for the Ecuador international in the final two days of the transfer window.
Doyle replied: “In terms of Hincapie, it does sound like Bayer Leverkusen want a LOT of money for him. If he was available for £40m or so then the Reds should really be in for him.”
Unfortunately for Liverpool, £40m probably won’t be enough to land Hincapie, with Falk indicating (via CaughtOffside) that Leverkusen could demand as much as €70m (£60m) for the 21-year-old.
Given the Ecuadorian’s age and his status as a mainly left-footed defender (a trait that none of the Reds’ current centre-backs possess), it’s little wonder the Merseysiders are being touted with a possible move for him.
The youngster combines defensive acumen with plenty of technical ability in possession, as illustrated by statistics from FBref. Over the past year, his match averages of 1.97 progressive carries and 2.27 tackles rank him in the top 3% and top 11% respectively among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues.
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He also boasts the flexiblity to play as the left-sided option in a central defensive two, as well as the wide centre-back in a three-man setup (Total Football Analysis), which could make him perfect for the 3-box-3 formation that Klopp has used to very good effect in recent months.
To get a 21-year-old boasting all those qualities (plus experience of the Bundesliga and Champions League) for £40m would be tremendous business, but it could be a difficult move to pull off so late in the transfer window.
However, should Liverpool spot an opportunity to seize him for roughly that amount, we fully agree with Doyle that it’d then be something the Reds must try to capitalise upon.