According to multiple reports, Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool badly want to pry Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic away from his Italian side.
Pjanic, who turns 25 on April 2, created more chances than any other player in the group stages of this summer’s World Cup (Sky Sports), and the Bosnia and Herzegovina star is expected to cost Liverpool or any other suitor a rather robust $57 million (especially given the four-plus years left on the Roma deal he signed last May).
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Pjanic is listed as the 18th most-effective player in Serie A by advanced statistics web site Squawka, but what’s more impressive is that his possession score is the second-best in Italy’s top-flight. That puts him ahead of some pretty good company:
For comparison’s sake, Pjanic’s overall score of 552 is somewhere between Samir Nasri and Jordan Henderson in the Premier League.
Of course the media narrative is, “Can Pjanic be the next Steven Gerrard?” That’s an absurd question on many different levels. Not because Pjanic can’t be as good as Gerrard, but because labeling every player the next “X” from your club is a troubling trend. As someone who’s grown up watching his hometown clubs seek out the next “Jim Kelly” and “Dominik Hasek” for a couple decades? Yeah, just seek out “next star midfielder.”