A summer of marquee signings reportedly awaits Liverpool and one of them is expected to be Real Madrid winger Denis Cheryshev
According to Italian website Tuttomercatoweb the Russian, who has been on loan at Villarreal this season, may be heading to Anfield at the end of term rather than returning to Santiago Bernabeu.
The bwin odds gurus go just 11/10 that the 24-year-old signs for Liverpool before the end of the summer transfer window.
But what does the Cheryshev have to offer Brendan Rodgers’ squad that would justify a supposed outlay of between £18-£22m?
He may be a fairly ancient 24 by modern standards, but 2014/15 has been quite the breakout season, spent on loan at Villarreal.
Three successive seasons at Real Madrid B finally earned the Nihzny Novgorod-born forward a start in Los Blancos’ first team in 2012/13.
Cheryshev was loaned out to Sevilla for the next campaign, but made little headway in just five appearances.
However, he has made up for lost time this term at El Madrigal, scoring six goals and assisting nine more for El Submarino Amarillo across La Liga and the Europa League.
The latter total places him fourth in the Spanish top flight in terms of assists per 90 minutes, providing a goal for a teammate 0.48 times for every full match played.
Only Luis Suarez (0.54), Lionel Messi (0.51) and Cristiano Ronaldo (0.49) have been more efficient.
Playing on the left of Marcelino Garcia Toral’s 4-4-2, he operates as if a berth in an attacking three might allow him to express his natural inclinations even better.
Cheryshev seems to be at his most influential when either delivering or converting crosses, although he is no chalky-boots throwback winger.
Instead the Russian international can often be seen bursting through challenges and driving to the by-line inside the penalty area, before serving up delicacies for on-rushing teammates.
Despite operating from a berth on the left flank he often roams across the pitch to create angles to get on the end of passes behind the defence.