Liverpool were linked with Italian international Lorenzo Insigne earlier this summer, but they now have a real incentive to make this move materialise.
According to reports from Gazzetta dello Sport Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has grown frustrated with contract negotiations and is now willing to allow Insigne to leave this summer.
This is supported by Sky Sport Italia’s own transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio who claims that talks have stalled between the player and his club. The report goes on to state the player would be available for €25 million as he only has one year left on his current deal.
Although the 30-year-old Insigne does not match Liverpool’s ideal transfer target profile, due to his age, these developments present an opportunity the club shouldn’t overlook.
Why sign Insigne
Insigne amassed an impressive 19 goals and seven assists in 35 Serie A games last season.
The skilful winger extended his great club form into the European Championships this summer playing in all six games. Insigne also contributed two goals on the way to helping Italy win the competition.
It appears apparent that Liverpool have identified a wide-player as a priority in the build up to the end of the transfer window. Recent reports have linked us with a £38 million move for Jeremy Doku.
Unlike Doku, Insigne is a proven player who has over 300 top flight appearances for Napoli. He has consistent production and wouldn’t need to be developed in the same manner as Doku requires.
Furthermore, despite currently being the better player, Insigne is available for just over half the price.
It would prove to be remarkable business if Liverpool could sign a first team star in exchange for a squad player in Shaqiri and someone in Wilson who never made a league appearance for the club.
What Insigne adds
Insigne’s age is the only factor which poses doubt over his signing. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah are all 29-years-old so Insigne doesn’t help Liverpool prepare for a future without them.
However Insigne has demonstrated great reliability and durability throughout his career. In seven of his nine full seasons with Napoli, the Italian has featured in at least 35 out of a possible 38 league games.
He also enjoyed his best ever season statistically last year proving he still has much to offer.
In addition to the goals and assists he could provide, Insigne also brings leadership to the team. The Napoli captain wouldn’t be given the armband at Liverpool, however he would be another leader who has experienced high pressure situations.
Salah and Mane will both depart in January to go to the African Cup of Nations. I am sure Jurgen Klopp would appreciate an option like Insigne to step in.
If Liverpool are willing to sell Shaqiri below their asking price in order to allow them to register another non-homegrown player to their Premier League squad, then I cannot see a better value for money transfer available.
Insigne’s experience and quality would mean Liverpool have the best forward options in the league. Pair that with a reinforced defence then Liverpool should be set up perfectly to challenge across multiple fronts this season.