After a mesmerizing season in front of goal last year, Liverpool have struggled to find the net time and again this season. The departure of Luis Suarez and injury to Daniel Sturridge has left the reds toothless upfront.
New signings, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert have failed to provide a clinical presence upfront and have often been benched in favour of Raheem Sterling, who has been deployed as a makeshift striker so far.
Heading into the January transfer window, signing a striker seemed to be a priority for Liverpool football club. With several names being linked to the reds, it is imperative that the reds go out and sign a complete forward, as opposed to a limited one, like Mario Balotelli or Rickie Lambert.
Time and again Daniel Sturridge has faced lengthy spells on the sidelines and Liverpool have needed someone to step up. While Luis Suarez did that perfectly well last season, Liverpool have struggled without a complete forward this season.
One of the names linked with Liverpool earlier this month was Luciano Vietto. The Villarreal striker has been in sensational form this season and has attracted a lot of interest from several European heavyweights.
Vietto was given his debut in 2011, by the Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, who was in charge of Racing Club in Argentina back then. Vietto remains grateful to Simeone to this day, claiming that his trust was a huge factor in the youngster’s development.
“Simeone trusted me, and I will be thankful to him for the rest of my life”, he said.
Having continued his progress at Racing, Vietto was snapped up by Villarreal in the summer. Luciano Vietto was reunited with his mentor when Villarreal travelled to Vicente Calderon in October, only difference being that Vietto was facing his mentor this time. Having greeted Simeone in the Atletico dugout, Vietto then went on to cap a memorable outing, as he ended Atletico’s unbeaten run at home since May 2013, with a superb goal six minutes from time.
Vietto’s ability to come up trumps during big occasions is no surprise for people who have followed him at Racing. The young Argentine endeared himself to the fans with a perfect hattrick on his full debut as the local media tipped him to become the next Sergio Aguero.
Sublime first touch, agility, quickness and the outstanding composure in front of goal has earned him comparisons with the world class Manchester City forward. Vietto has racked up 11 goals and 4 assists in 23 appearances so far this season and continues to improve with every passing month.
Aguero e Vietto em suas primeiras temporadas na Liga Espanhola. Ambos vieram de um clube de Avellaneda. pic.twitter.com/iVtVnGgNQI
— Portal Fut. Europeu (@portalfuteuropa) January 7, 2015
The youngster has been tracked by several clubs including Juventus, Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton, Inter, Napoli, Udinese, Sevilla, Valencia, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain. Even the likes of Leicester and Nottingham Forest tried their luck. Vietto’s agent confirmed that Liverpool spoke to him about the player in 2013 and were interested in a move. However, the transfer never materialized. Perhaps due to Vietto’s dip in form, this helped Villarreal snap him up for a bargain.
Vietto, Dybala, Icardi all scoring goals in top European leagues and barely 21. Argentina’s striking future should be safe at least til 2022
— Daniel Edwards (@DanEdwardsGoal) January 6, 2015
Jorge Cyterszpiler, Vietto’s agent describes him as the “best young player in Argentina”. Vietto is undoubtedly one of the hottest young talents in not just South America, but around the world. His intelligence, tactical awareness, technique and attitude belies his age. Whether he lives up to his hype and goes on to establish himself as a star like Sergio Aguero, remains to be seen. However, it is imperative that the Reds do everything in their power to sign the young forward, if they wish to continue a remarkable trend of welcoming special strikers at Anfield.
Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Anfield has had the pleasure of witnessing great forwards at work over the years. Luciano Vietto is another name; Brendan Rodgers should do everything to add to that list.
SL’s deputy editor Saikat’s verdict: Vietto is a naturally gifted footballer. The best part of his game is his intelligence; he has the knack of popping up at the right place at the right time. He will be a good signing for any top clubs in Europe, and that includes Liverpool as well.