Meet Juan Manuel Vargas - The Peruvian Destroyer To Revitalise Liverpool

They call him El Loco and he's got a left-foot to die for. But don't worry Liverpool fans, he's no Charlie Adam...
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They call him El Loco and he's got a left-foot to die for. But don't worry Liverpool fans, he's no Charlie Adam...


Despite an encouraging 3-0 in over Bolton, Arsenal need a player who can combine anarchy and artistry to give them backbone, Vargas is that man...

Alberto Gilardino has called him the best crosser of the ball he has ever seen and Cesare Prandelli claimed he was only playing to fifty per cent of his potential as a left-back so he transformed him into an attacking left-sided midfielder to provide the final ball for the aforementioned Gilardino at Fiorentina.

At 28, Juan Manuel Vargas is at the top of his game and if Real Madrid, Arsenal or Liverpool had made their move last summer then they could have had one of the bargains of the transfer window.

If they come calling again then the Viola will be asking for something in the range of 12 million euros which is still a steal for one the sweetest and most vicious left boots in European football.

Built like a rugby centre, with energy to burn, the Peruvian arrived in Italian football at Catania in 2006 from Colon de Santa Fe where he had made his name as a free-roaming left-back but so dominant in personality that he had also played in the central midfield role.

Of course, in Serie A full-backs are expected to defend and the Sicilian club employed him exclusively as a left-back to varying degrees of success over his two seasons on the island – at times his lack of positional sense left him very exposed to the quick counter-attack.

However, Fiorentina’s equally energetic coach Prandelli saw what a wrecking ball of a player he could be if he was employed further up the pitch where he could run straight at an opposing full-back and then switch wide and deliver a telling cross.

If he continues to play his cards right the only red he could be seeing is that of Arsenal or Liverpool come January.

With Real Madrid reportedly ready to launch a bid, Prandelli moved quickly to secure his services and with a little bit of tweaking to his game Vargas has really come into his own over the last two seasons after taking time to settle in Florence in a more advanced role as the Tuscans pushed to take fourth place in the league.

It was during Fiorentina’s galloping run to the last sixteen of the Champions League in 2009 that he began to have a startling impact, scoring crucial goals including the decisive penalty against Lyon that helped qualification for the knock-out stage ahead of Liverpool.

Last year was hampered somewhat by niggling injuries as his Carlos Roberto-like thighs took a pounding but by the final third of the campaign the dashing South American was back to his marauding best as well as putting himself in the frame for goal of the season in Italy.

A stunning left-footed volley against Udinese brought back memories of Marco Van Basten’s effort from the other side of the area for Holland in the Final of Euro ’88 against the then Soviet Union.

When he is not thumping the ball into the back of the net the former Universitario and Colon de Santa Fe star can be found laying out the odd opponent or two so he is never likely to be softened up as he has no qualms about dishing out punishment.

He lived up to his nickname El Loco during last summer’s Copa America when in the semi-final with Peru down 2-0 and heading out to Uruguay he decided to take the law into his own hands and laid out an opponent.

However, he had made already made a more positive impression in the competition scoring against Colombia in the quarter-finals - and if he continues to play his cards right the only red he could be seeing is that of Arsenal or Liverpool come Summer.

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