Hernanes is top quality, but does he provide value for money?
Liverpool have been told by Serie A club Lazio that Brazilian midfield ace Hernanes will cost over £15m, talkSPORT reports.
Following Lucas’s injury, which he picked up against Aston Villa last weekend, the Reds are desperately weak in midfield. They have only the ageing Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen as options for the three central midfield berths, and the latter as only just returned from the sidelines anyway.
Hernanes though has not been a natural central midfielder for most of his career, and has preferred to play in more free role further up the field. This season though, he’s been used deeper in more of a deep-lying playmaker role in the mould of Xabi Alonso or Andrea Pirlo, for example.
While he doesn’t tackle often, and his work-rate is by no means an asset, his passing and technical ability enables him to dictate tempo and maintain possession in midfield.
Manager Brendan Rodgers may be targeting him as another option to play behind Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, or as a potential member of the midfield three.
The Lazio president Claudio Lotito has told TMW only a very large offer will see them consider selling the 28-year-old.
“I do not want to sell him, we will have to receive an indecent offer – £15m will not be enough,” he said.
This season, Hernanes has started 13 Serie A matches, scoring three goals, but surprisingly for such an impressive creator, he has yet to assist a teammate. Hernanes has an outstanding long shot, and impressive set-piece ability, but it’s questionable whether he would be able to automatically adapt to the pace and power of the Premier league.
Since making his international debut in 2008, Hernanes has won 23 caps for Brazil, and is expected to be part of the squad for next summer’s World Cup. For Lazio, he has scored 40 goals in 158 appearances in all competitions, but could be ready to test his mettle in England, and join fellow countrymen Coutinho and Lucas at Anfield.