Football writers tend to go overboard on the hyperbole when gifted young players catch their attention, with the new Messi/Ronaldo/Dele Adebola-tag affixed to the latest prodigy faster than Crystal Palace can sack a manager.
However, there are few among this number who can boast the top-level goal record of Villarreal hotshot Luciano Vietto, the 21-year-old Argentina Under-20 international linked with a January move to Liverpool.
Vietto has been called ‘the new Sergio Aguero’, and the Yellow Submarine man is arguably developing into a high-end striker even quicker than Manchester City’s Albiceleste talisman did.
The Reds were rumoured to be in for Vietto, alongside Serie A giants Juventus, during boss Brendan Rodgers’ first summer in charge two-and-a-half years ago, when he was thought to be available for around £4m.
A couple of years on, Villarreal paid a little over £1m more for his services, but the former Estudiantes youth’s value has at least trebled after a lightning-quick start to life on the Mediterranean coast.
His brace last time out at home to Deportivo brought Vietto’s Villarreal numbers up to a whopping 12 goals in just 23 appearances, with seven in 15 La Liga outings including the winner against old Racing boss Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon earlier this month.
If the South American import continues this ratio, he will easily outstrip former Los Colchoneros striker Aguero’s tally in his first season in Spain, when the Buenos Aires native bagged just six over a full term.
It must be stated that Aguero didn’t turn 19 until the end of that 2006/07 season. Nonetheless, Vietto is on course to emulate the older Argentine’s spectacular subsequent campaigns in Spain, where he notched La Liga goals at a rate of just under one every two games.
Of course, there are no guarantees that Vietto will continue his one-in-two form indefinitely, but Rodgers could definitely use an injection of exuberant attacking impetus after Liverpool’s patchy first half of the 2014/15 term.
The Northern Irishman hasn’t seen his side string together two Premier League home wins in a row since April, and face a Leicester outfit fresh off the back of a morale boosting away win at Hull last time out.
Nigel Pearson’s visitors seem a tad big at 39/20 for the double chance of a win or a draw.