Video Evidence: Liverpool target Marseille captain Mamadou Niang

The BBC Sports website flagged up a story that links Liverpool with a swoop for Marseille’s striker Mamadou Niang.

When Fernando Torres has been injured or short of match fitness, Liverpool have toiled for goals. Babble, Ngog and Kyut have all struggled to score, and this seasons woes are reminiscent of their scoring stats last season.

With the ignominy of having missed out on qualification for next year’s Champions League, Liverpool must surely be looking to strengthen the team as early as possible to prove to Benitez that they will support him in the transfer market and emphasise to Gerrard and Torres that this season’s league position will not be tolerated.

After years hustling around Ligue 1’s lower sides, Niang has been a late bloomer and only emerged as a real striker during the 2007-2008 season.

He turned professional at Troyes and in four seasons at the club netted 27 times in 82 games. After a short loan spell at Metz he was snapped up Strasbourg where over two seasons he netted 21 goals in 56 games.

To some surprise he was sold to what was then underachieving Marseille for €7 million in 2005. His first two seasons at the Stade Veledrome were non descript, and the fans has to wait until his third season for him to start banging in the goals like a striker should.

During the past three seasons he has bagged an impressive 56 goals in 106 appearances and helped Marseille to their first title since 1992.

Niang relies on his brute strength and acceleration to get himself into a position to score his goals. The Senegalese striker enjoys running onto balls played in between the right full back and the central defender in a Henryesque style. A fox in the box he is not.

He favours his right foot but is not scared to go outside on his left should circumstances dictate. Niang has been used both as a central striker and on the left in a front three and it could be this versatility which is attractive to Benitez.

However, at 30-years-old he can’t be presented as the future but rather as a plaster to quickly fix Liverpool’s ineptitude in front of goal. Furthermore, over the past two seasons he has suffered from a dislocated shoulder and a broken metatarsal which left him on the sidelines for six and eight weeks respectively. He has also had recent problems with the OM fans after he was caught on camera cuffing a supporter outside the club’s training ground only last month. (See here.)

He is quoted to be worth around €15 million, but in reality his transfer value is a lot less.

If he is to come to Anfield a suitable price may be around €9 million but there are better players out there. Liverpool fans must hope that it was a slow news day.

Just as a taster if he does go to Liverpool video evidence can be seen here.