With £142 million burning a hole in their back pocket, Liverpool will be keen to secure a replacement for the departed Philippe Coutinho as soon as possible.
The stats may suggest that Liverpool win more games on average without the influential number ten. But no matter which way you look at it, Coutinho’s mega-money move to Barcelona leaves a huge void in Jurgen Klopp’s attack.
But is it one that could be filled by Atalanta’s Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez? Quite possibly, according to the front page of Tuesday’s edition of Tuttosport.
Gomez may turn 30 next month but age is just a number. The figures that really matter are the goals and assist tallies and the four-time Argentine international has posted some truly remarkable numbers in the last 18 months.
He scored a career best 16 goals and set up another 10 as Atalanta stunned Serie A by finishing fourth last season. So far in 2017/18, he has another four and six to his name.
And it is tempting to wonder whether Liverpool’s reported interest is a by-product of Gomez’s sensational performances against their bitter Merseyside rivals Everton in this season’s Europa League group stage.
The late-blooming winger was the best player on the pitch as Atalanta tore the Toffees to shreds in September, netting a sublime curling finish to cap a 3-0 thrashing.
Gomez also set up a further two as Gian Piero Gasperini’s side went one better two months later, putting Everton to the sword again with a 5-1 thumping at Goodison Park.