Who is Liverpool transfer target Rodrigo De Paul?
Liverpool have been linked with a summer move for Udinese attacking midfielder Rodrigo De Paul.
The Reds’ title defence has dissipated in recent weeks, with Jurgen Klopp’s side now in real danger of not even qualifying for the next season’s Champions League. they presently sit sixth in the Premier League table.
So who is Rodrigo De Paul?
How good is Rodrigo De Paul?
The Argentine has been at the north-eastern Italian outfit since 2016, after an uneventful stint with Valencia in La Liga.
By 2016 the Frulian outfit were no longer challenging for a top four place in Serie A, with investment capped by the Pozzo family, who own the club.
De Paul subsequently emerged as one of the club’s best players since the days of Antonio Di Natale, Samir Handanovic and Alexis Sanchez. He’s an attacking midfielder who could carry the ball, orchestrate play, and also get on the end of crosses and make surging runs from deep.
In a struggling side, De Paul has been the one shining light, and by his third season he was beginning to come into his own. He scored nine goals and provided seven assists in 37 games in the league during 2018/19, despite Udinese finishing 12th. He finished the season as their top goal scorer.
By now he’d begun to attract the interest of Inter, with Antonio Conte a known admirer of him. De Paul was continually linked with a move to San Siro, but it was believed that Udinese’s asking price of €40 million put potential investors off of making a move. So he stayed put.
De Paul at Udinese (2016-21)
De Paul’s numbers slightly decreased last season, but that was due more to Udinese’s continual mediocrity than any downturn in his performance. They finished 13th, and De Paul scored seven times and supplied six assists.
He’s the standout performer in an otherwise ordinary team, and is given the license to roam around the pitch. Udinese are a reactive side, and it’s been left to De Paul to try and instigate counter-attacks wherever he sees fit.
However, the Argentine’s ability to press, when required, is a key facet in his development as a player. His form for Udinese saw him rewarded with call-ups to the Argentina national set-up, where he’s played 19 times, usually in midfield.
His versatility in being able to play multiple roles would also be a huge advantage to Klopp, should Liverpool make a move for him this summer.
This season he has once again been the bright spark in an otherwise poor team, but it’s surely only a matter of time before someone snaps him up. De Paul is now 26-years-old, and knows he’s surely destined to play in a better side than Udinese. Whether it’s at Liverpool or Inter.