Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Tuesday December 17 2013
Hoffenheim winger Kevin Volland is reportedly attracting the attention of a number of Europe's elite clubs including Liverpool...
Another day and another transfer story concerning a possible January incoming at Anfield.
This one predominantly comes from UK tabloid The Daily Mirror and should therefore be viewed with a degree of cynicism.
One thing the report can be trusted on however is the fact that Kevin Volland is viewed as one of the most exciting prospects in Germany.
The 21-year-old winger was recently ranked the 10th best player in the Bundesliga by leading sports magazine Kicker while Bild have named him in their Team of the Week on three occasions.
Volland certainly has an eye for goal and his shooting accuracy of 68 percent of shots on target, which has led to an impressive seven goals so far this season, compares favourably to other players in his position.
By comparison, existing Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho and Real Madrid's world record signing Gareth Bale both average 43%.
The left-footed youngster, who predominantly plays from the right for his current club, isn't blessed with searing pace but does have an abundance of skill, intelligence and technique to his game.
Volland initially came through at 1860 Munich before transferring to Hoffenheim at the beginning of last season.
The German U21 international notched six goals in his first season at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena and is in line to make his 50th league appearance for the club this weekend.
Volland's record at international level is even more impressive with 21 goals in 44 games when all his appearances at U17 level and upwards are combined.
It seems only a matter of time before senior recognition follows but will he still be at Hoffenheim when it does?
Volland's existing contract runs until 2017 but with the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal also said to be interested that appears unlikely.
The Mirror rate the player at £12million.
Volland is a player of great promise who is really making a name for himself right now. His finishing ability suggests he could even be used in a more central striking role in the future. For those unfamiliar with the German, there are some similarities with England international Theo Walcott although Volland is not quite as quick. On paper he certainly fits the type of player we would be interested in, especially in terms of age and the fact that Hoffenheim play a similar formation and attacking game to ourselves. Hopefully the interest is genuine but it looks like there will be plenty of competition for his signature even if so. Along with the likes of Julian Draxler and Hakan Calhanoglu, it seems German football is a real hotbed of gifted young midfield talent right now. Volland could arguably develop into the best of the bunch.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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Date:Tuesday December 17 2013
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