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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Comolli: Stats dictate Reds transfers

Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has revealed that the club place a big emphasis on stats when indentifying transfer targets and highlighted the positive attributes of potential signing Blaise Matuidi.

• Aquilani doesn't want Reds return

Comolli has been at Anfield since Fenway Sports Group took control of the club in November and is responsible for the club's transfer policy.

The Frenchman was behind the sale of Fernando Torres and signings of Andrew Carroll and Luis Suarez in January and he insists that the players' respective stats were influential in the club's decision to allow the Spanish striker join Chelsea.

"When you find yourself handling three of the biggest transfers in English football history in the last days of the market, precise figures allow you not to do that blind," Comolli said. "You have to act quickly. For Luis, I asked scouts to make inquiries in Holland.

"I looked at his stats over the last three years - especially the number of matches played. We are going in the right direction of players who don't get injured. We are going to take more and more account of the health of a player in the future. It costs so much having players who don't play.

"With Luis, we took account of the number of decisive passes, his performances against the big teams, against the little ones, in Europe, the difference between his goals scored at home and away."

And Comolli revealed that the club are interested in St Etienne midfielder Matuidi after being impressed by his qualities, supported by statistical analysis.

"In France, all the figures prove that the player who wins the most possession at the feet of his opponents is Blaise Matuidi," Comolli told the News of the World. "That is an extraordinary strong point. When the team plays high, it means a goal chance."

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