In-focus: Mauricio Isla

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Chilean midfielder Mauricio Isla looks set to be one of this summer's most wanted men.

The versatile 23-year-old can also play at full-back, and has emerged as one of Udinese's top performers during their rise to prominence in Italian football over the last season-and-a-half.

And, after his agent admitted Friday that the Reds were watching the player, GiveMeFootball decided to put the microscope on the former Universidad Católica youth player.


Valued in the region of £12 million, Isla represents a relatively cheap investment in comparison to Liverpool's recent transfer splurges.

A consistent performer for the Zebrette, the youngster has made over 25 Serie 'A' appearances in each of the last three seasons, helping his side to a fourth-place finish last season.

Competent in defence, Isla is solid in the tackle, and rarely dives in when an opportunity to jockey rather than slide arises.

Given his ability to play anywhere down the right flank, Isla also has a fine cross amongst his attributes, which could be crucial to helping Andy Carroll find form.

With 31 international caps, Isla has tested his skills on the international stage, as well as in European competition, although the Champions League has always eluded after losing to Arsenal in this season's qualifying stage. That could also be an advantage to the Reds, if they can persuade Isla that they can reach Europe's elite.


Isla does not possess an aerial threat in attack, and is poor in air against strong opposition, with a lack of upper-body strength.

He also struggles to add goals, scoring just six in the league during his time as a professional. The current campaign is his best, with three thus far.

Fitness is now also a major concern, after Isla damaged cruciate ligaments in his knee in yesterday's 2-1 defeat to AC Milan. With a possible six months on the sidelines, his season could be over.


Yesterday's injury has changed things in a major way for Isla, with a move now far from likely.

It would represent a major gamble to bring the South American to the club after a lengthy lay-off, particularly if Isla fails to feature again this season, as is expected.

Long-term, it might not be a disaster for Kenny Dalglish though, with a valuation potentially dropping. The best option will be to re-assess the situation next season and consider a move in January 2013.

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