SET THE BINOCULARS TOWARDS CHILE

Copa America 2014

Liverpool’s management needs to give a good deal of attention to Copa America

The attention of football fans throughout the world shifts to Chile, which will host the 44th edition of South America’s biggest tournament, the 2015 Copa América. The four week long tournament starts today, when the hosts will play Ecuador in the Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos at Santiago. Liverpool is slightly less represented in the current version of the tournament compared to the past with only two players, including Philippe Coutinho and Sebastian Coates.

A notable absentee from the tournament will be the current Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, whose international suspension that had begun during his Liverpool tenure continues. The lethal striker was also awarded the title of ‘player of the tournament’ in the 2011 version, which was won by his team Uruguay.

A big opportunity for Liverpool’s scouts
On the back of an immensely weak season as well as the departure of several experienced members like Gerrard and Johnson, Liverpool are in desperate need to find good players who could fill in the void, more than ever before. Such tournaments do give the opportunity to sign in untapped fresh talents, for which teams

In the recent past, Liverpool’s signings after such major tournaments has proven to be reasonably successful. Suarez was signed by Liverpool, six months after his impressive yet controversial performance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. His teammate Sebastian Coates was later signed by the Reds after an impressive performance that saw the player awarded the ‘young player of the tournament’ in the 2011 Copa América. Yet, the latter hasn’t proven to be as successful as the former and was loaned to Sunderland for the last season. Similarly, Raul Meireles too was signed by Liverpool after his fair display in the 2010 WC and he did prove to be a really good signing as he got awarded the 2011 PFA Fans’ Player of the Year.

However, what also isn’t guaranteed is that a successful player in a major tournament could indeed be a successful member of the club. El Hadji Diouf, who was signed by the Reds just before the 2002 WC proved to be one the best players in the tournament but left Liverpool after 4 years as a major failure.

Still, the attempt to acquire such talents after a successful international tournament is certainly a risk that’s worth taking for any club. In 2010, for instance, Real Madrid signed the German duo Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira, both of whom became important part of the team in the next few years. After Madrid acquired Gareth Bale for a world record fee of £85.3 million, they did let Özil move to Arsenal at an attractive price of £42.4 million.

‘Show some ambition!’
It’s clear that the ambitious teams certainly don’t ignore the potential benefits that such tournaments can provide to the club. Lately, spotting a good player from the different corners of the globe is certainly proving to be a more difficult task and it wouldn’t be a mistake to assume that Liverpool’s scouts haven’t been doing good work for the past few years. Clubs like Southampton, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Swansea have managed to grab hold of more promising talents after such tournaments, spending lesser than Liverpool in the past seasons. In such a situation, Liverpool do need to take serious interest towards the best untapped talents in the tournament.

There is no need to hurry just yet! As the tournament progresses, the best players will be visible. But once the tournament is over, the team’s transfer committee needs to be in hot pursuit of the best players. The board needs to show some ambition and grab the best while they can!

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