Liverpool have recently been linked with Malaga’s Ignacio Camacho. The Spaniard was said to have been in Liverpool’s training ground, Melwood, some days back. While those rumors were said to be false, Liverpool have been reported to have scouted the player extensively and are set to open talks with the 25-year-old.
Born in Zaragoza, Camacho started his football career playing for local club Real Zaragoza when he was picked up as an 11-year-old. In 2005, he was spotted by Atletico Madrid and signed for the youth academy. After making his way up the ranks, just three years later, as an 17-year-old, Camacho started his first game for the senior side against Barcelona.
Even though the midfielder impressed in his debut season, over the next two years, he hardly got enough game-time and was restricted to cup appearances. He ended up being used as an extra-time situation and by the end, had 34 appearances to his name. It was little surprise that he sought a move away from the Madrid side and in December 2010, was prized away by Malaga.
Camacho has now firmly established himself in the Malaga set-up and in five years has 153 appearances for the La Liga outfit. His consistency didn’t go unnoticed and he received his first international call-up for Vicente del Bosque’s side in November 2014.
Style of play
Primarily a defensive midfielder, Camacho’s presence in the heart of the pitch has been of extreme importance to Malaga’s set-up. He shields the defence and uses his tactical ability to break-up play and initiate attacks, in the process, becoming the important link between defence and attack who helps in the transitions.
Camacho averages 3.4 successful tackles and 3.6 successful interceptions every 90 minutes which just go on to highlight the aforementioned facts. They also illustrate his reading of the game. He is 6 ft tall and has an imposing physicality which allows him to take-on opponents with power as a footballer can’t rely on technical ability to help him outshine an opponent every single time. He also has a good aerial presence in the middle of the park.
As far as weaknesses are concerned, the player could improve on his passing abilities and has certain disciplinary concerns. He can mistime a tackle and isn’t one who will make zero fuss about a booking.
Why are the Reds interested?
His energy, intensity and willingness to press – as evidenced against Malaga recently – makes him a great fit for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.
Klopp is planning for next season with Liverpool already having secured the signings of central defender Joel Matip and midfielder Marko Grujic. Bar the addition of Steven Caulker, the German decided to keep faith with the existing personnel for the ongoing season. It makes sense as he will be able to decide exactly what the squad needs and who needs to shipped off, in the coming summer window.
Midfielders Lucas Leiva, James Milner and Joe Allen are among those that have a chance of being disposed off in the summer. At best, they could be kept in the squad role. Even captain Jordan Henderson’s performances have to significantly improve for him to be part of Klopp’s first team set-up in the long run (not to mention, he has a permanent heel injury as well).
For now, Emre Can and Marko Grujic are certainly going to be in Klopp’s first team plans next season. Therefore, links with midfielders such as Ignacio Camacho come as little surprise. He provides tenacity and energy in the midfield, something Jurgen Klopp badly desires from his team but Liverpool badly lack that at the moment. The Reds also need a quarterback of sorts, someone to be the bridge between the side’s defence and attack and the 25-year-old can provide that.
Considering his quality in the midfield on a very consistent basis, the Malaga man could prove to be a very astute signing for the Reds. The player did have hip surgery last March which kept him out for seven months and keeping in mind the way Liverpool were jolted with injuries some time back, Klopp and co. must be certain about the player’s fitness before investing in him.
He has three years left on his contract but with Malaga desperate to sell and needing the cash, the player could be available for under £10 million (according to certain reports).
Liverpool’s absolutely uninspiring midfield has been a major reason for their recent draws and losses. There definitely needs to be an improvement there for the Reds to become competitive once again next season. Camacho certainly looks like someone who could boost the squad.
Keep your eye on this transfer story as it’s unlikely it will fizzle out anytime soon.