This season, Liverpool disappointed again.

Despite the appointment of highly-rated manager Brendan Rodgers and spending significant money in the transfer market, the Reds could only finish a paltry seventh in the table.

A major factor contributing to this was the absence of a consistent performer at the centre of the park to support the impressive Steven Gerrard.

Jonjo Shlevey and Jordan Henderson were both good in patches, but lacked the consistency to make Liverpool a contender for the top four. In this scenario, Liverpool's pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan makes sense.

An energetic midfielder who can score goals as well as set up his team-mates to score, Mkhitaryan could seamlessly adapt to the system at Anfield perfectly.

At 24 years of age, he is still young and thus fits into the youth policy currently running at Anfield. Also he would suit the managerial tactics of Rodgers, who likes players who provide fluidity to the attack and are not confined to a single position.

It has been a feature of Rodgers' Liverpool that no player has been assigned a single fixed role, and the attackers have often switched positions many times in the middle of a match.

Though Mkhitaryan always starts as an attacking central midfielder for

Shakhtar, he has often combined effortlessly with the now departed Willian to switch to play in multiple positions in a fluid system.

However, the Armenian's most impressive contribution comes in the form of goals from midfield. Having scored 25 goals last season in the Ukrainian Premier League, he was the top scoring central midfielder across Europe.

He also excelled in the Champions League, and was a vital clog in the team that impressed many by qualifying for the group stages at the expense of Chelsea.

And goals are not the only thing that Mkhitaryan provided for the Ukrainian champions, with the player also giving  10 assists last season. His passing has also been reasonably impressive with a success rate of 88%, and he also proved himself an able dribbler in this year's Champions League. 

Even though an unknown quantity to most English fans, Mkhitaryan has shown in his exploits with Shakhtar that he is indeed capable of moving to a top club in Europe.

And even though Liverpool fans may feel apprehensive about his price tag -it's expected to be between £17-22m - and may argue that he has not proved himself in one of the better leagues in Europe, his Champions League performances suggest that he may indeed be the real deal.

And in today's inflated transfer market, the three-time Armenian player of the year could well prove to be a significant coup.

A player of the mould of Mkhitaryan, who can both orchestrate the game as well as chip in with goals from midfield, has been sorely lacking at Anfield over the past few seasons.

Mkhitaryan could well be the missing piece of jigsaw for Liverpool who were often found to be short of ideas going forward last season.

 

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Topics:
#Liverpool
#Premier League
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