The search and decision regarding a new manager has yet to be completed at Anfield, with Roberto Martinez looking to be the closest man to get the Liverpool position, but the club are already looking to sign players, currently in talks with Ryad Boudebouz.
The 22 year old Algerian international has been with Sochaux senior squad for the past four years. He scored 8 goals last season and was the club’s best performer during a troubled season in this campaign, avoiding relegation during the last week. He finished the year with six goals and six assists.
Like most Algerian internationals, Boudebouz is French-born with Algerian parentage or heritage going further back. He was part of the French setup in the Under-17’s and 19’s before getting his Algerian passport in 2010, allowing him to be part of the 2010 World Cup squad.
Most of the interest in Boudebouz has been on French soil during the last 18 months, but now Liverpool, desperatley needing a winger, have also entered the contest of signing him, with the player himself remaining rather mysterious about the identity of the teams courting him and his preferred destination.
Certainly, my agent is in talks with some clubs, particularly in France, but there is still nothing concrete. There is also Liverpool, who have initiated discussions with my agent, but at the risk of repeating myself, everything is in the discussion stage, no more.
It is interesting because Liverpool went hard into the British market for their recent transfers – Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and the most notorious transfer of them all during last summer – Stewart Downing, resembling yet another high figure and failure to bring a winger that will be successful. Downing didn’t play that bad, on either wings, but his production of 0 goals and 0 assists was too much to ignore.
Boudebouz isn’t the biggest name in the market, but he’s young, talented, and might come over for a less bombastic fee than English player who were rather disappointing under Kenny Dalglish last season. Liverpool have a pretty strong middle with a healthy Lucas and their defense, as long as Jamie Carragher remains on the bench, is among the best in the league.
Creativity and speed on the flanks were often direly needed during the disappointing 2011-2012 campaign, with Dirk Kuyt slowly falling out of favor with Dalglish, Maxi Rodriguez sporadically used, Downing being Downing and Jordan Henderson placed on the right wing when it was clearly not his place.
Boudebouz isn’t a player that turns a mid-table club into a champion overnight, but he just might be an indication of how Liverpool will conduct themselves in the transfer market this summer, no matter who’s the manager.