Javier Pastore: Here's Why Liverpool Need PSG's Out Of Favour Argie Enganche
With talkSPORT reporting that Liverpool face competition for the signing of Javier Pastore from both Lyon and Roma, we had our Ligue 1 expert run the rule over the talented playmaker to see if he's worth the battle.
The young Argentinian midfielder once considered a raw talent could now be looking away for a new challenge. The red shirt could provide him a chance to prove the few glimpses of genius we saw from him in Paris can turn into a regular feature in Anfield.
Paris’ new coach, Laurent Blanc seems to have settle for 2 different tactical options. Away, we have a 4-5-1 where the midfielders are called Matuidi, Motta, Verratti, Lavezzi and Lucas. Home it turns into a 4-4-2 where any of the 5 first name can sit on the bench alongside Pastore.
Javier Pastore was the first seemingly overpriced player to join Paris following the Qatari’s takeover of the club in 2011. €42mil and a very interesting spell in Palermo made of him a young boy with a lot of pressure to deliver in Paris. Sadly, it has been a relentless succession of highs and lows for the young Argentinean. Is it enough to lure him away? Possibly…
Javier was born in 1989 in Cordoba, Argentina, where he will grew up as a promising football player in the ranks of local club CA Talleres. Facing financial meltdown in 2004, the club sent its best youngsters to Europe for training sessions in hope of a sell which could save the club. Javier landed in Saint-Etienne where he did not convinced during his two weeks trial. Back in Argentina, he was sold (for $500k) to the Buenos Aires club CA Huracan where he made his professional debut in 2008.
Following a convincing season, he was signed by Palermo for €8mil where he immediately showed his potential as an orchestrating midfielder. His youth though was often pointed as a weakness until Walter Zenga became the new coach shortly before Christmas 2009. Lined up behind Fabrizzio Miccoli and Edinson Cavani, his technical abilities became obvious and led the club to their all time best finish in the Serie A, reaching the 5th place and qualifying for the Europa League.
Voted best young player in the Calcio in 2010 by the players, he completed his second season in Sicily with another European qualification to which he added an Italian cup final (lost to Inter). That is when the Qataris arrived in Paris.
In August 2011 he signed a 5 years deal thanks to which Palermo received €42mil. That was then a record breaking fee for any French football club. His first weeks in the French capital were very convincing, as he was voted best Paris player for the month of August 2011 and continued the good performances until Christmas. Following a winter where he was sidelined through injury, he struggled to come back to the high standard he'd set. Despite the criticisms, he finished the season with 13 goals and 5 assists, the best tally of his career so far.
The following season would not improve his mood, with many critics picking on him, accusing him of an apparent lack of will and not showing what he can really do. Despite a Ligue 1 trophy and a decent run in the Champions League, the season did not happen as Javier would have expected it. While his approval ratings were going down in France, he also lost touch with the Argentinean national squad as he hasn't had the chance to wear the blue and white jersey since 2011.
The current situation in Paris is obviously not going to help him get his confidence back. As it stands, this is all that's stopping him, the technical skills are not going away that easily when you are only aged 24. Menez , the young Rabiot and a Cavani repositioned on the wing are to be added to the initial list of 5 midfielders fighting for a starting position and so Pastore’s playing time will obviously be reduced for the next few months. That could be Liverpool’s chance this winter. If they maintain their domestic pace until then, they will have the strength to lure him away from Paris where his former team mate Mamadou Sakho could welcome him.
The only hiccup in this story could be financial. Pastore’s value is today at around £25mil, it is 15 less than what he cost when he was 2 years less mature. Will the Qataris be ready to concede a direct loss on a player that was a flagship of their new policy? That is something we are right to doubt as so far, not any single player bought by the new owners have yet left the club.
Will Javier Pastore make it as the first in, first out of PSG's new era?
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