By Matthew Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez
This week has been a slow one for rumours, but over the weekend something happened and we kinda need to talk about it.
In this week’s edition we look at two possible incomings (take that with a pinch of salt) and our first potential departure.
Thought I’d start this review off with the most ludicrous of the bunch. I have a feeling this is a lose-lose situation for me as some people will read this and call me negative while others wont read it but will see the photo of the French wonder-kid and call me delusional, either way let’s discuss.
Let’s look at the facts. Mbappe is in the USA, he’s met LeBron James (2% LFC stakeholder) who was wearing a Liverpool cap and he’s followed some players on social media – Steven Gerrard, Mo Salah, Fabinho, Luis Suarez and Phillipe Coutinho being the ones many have put forward as evidence of his impending arrival – I’m pretty sure that we all follow these players too (or at least a few of them) however it doesn’t mean we are about to be offered a multi-million pound contract by Jürgen Klopp and co.
Mbappe has recently turned 20 years old, in other words he is very young. He played alongside Fabinho at AS Monaco which could explain the social media follow. Moreover, the likes of Gerrard, Salah, Suarez and Coutinho are big names synonymous with football, therefore following them could simply mean he is a fan of those players.
Lastly, the young Frenchman also follows the likes of Memphis Depay who plays for Lyon and has no link to PSG or their star striker – what I’m getting at is that it would be unwise to track a potential transfer based on who they follow on social media.
I suppose I need to talk about Mbappe as a player so I will. He’s world class, has huge potential and is touted by many to be a future Ballon d’Or winner. I’m not going to go into his stats for this season because I’m not delusional enough to put any faith in this rumour having even the slightest of truth to it.
Do I think we are an attractive prospect to the PSG no.7? Yes. Do I think he’d want to play for us and Klopp? Yes. So why won’t this happen? Well, there is absolutely zero chance that PSG will accept anything other than £200+ million and, although FSG have publicly said they are backing Klopp in the market this summer, spending that much money on one player as opposed to bolstering the squad is not keeping with the transfer policy we have shown over the last few seasons.
It’s not happening. But I would really love it to. It’s definitely not though…
IN: Hakim Ziyech – AFC Ajax
This is a player that I would be willing to get excited about. Not only was he churning out world class Champions League performances last year, but he also fits the category of player that Liverpool are believed to be interested in, and he would be cheap – in fact the reported release clause attached to the Moroccan is as low as £25million.
Ajax’s sporting director Marc Overmars has already confirmed that Ziyech will be leaving, stating: “He leaves when a top club comes. We promised Hakim that we would agree to a good transfer.”
We’ve seen in the past that winning the Champions League can greatly aid with transfer dealings, such as when Chelsea signed Eden Hazard. With this being said, the only question needed to be asked is, what bigger club is there at the moment than the current European Champions?
Ziyech is Ajax’s creative hub. Last season, he scored nine and assisted 18 for the Amsterdam side and was angling for a move by the end of the campaign.
After being convinced to stay for one final year, the No.22 has taken his game up another level and he has exploded onto the world stage this season – Scoring 21 goals and assisting a further 24 across 49 games. Ridiculous numbers.
The Moroccan would also fit well into Klopp’s system. As his stats show he is a creative genius, and plays primarily as an advanced midfielder – something Liverpool have been searching for since the departure of a certain little Brazilian. Moreover, Ziyech can also be utilised out on the wing and has done so with great effect in Ajax’s Champions League run.
Signing the 26-year-old would see Liverpool pick up midfield creativity and cover for the wings all in one cheap package. Furthermore, another aspect of his game which would suit Klopp’s style is his ability to press and win the ball back in the oppositions half – with WhoScored ranking the star first in the Dutch league for winning back possession in the final third (52 times).
This is a certainly a signing that I would be interested in and I think Liverpool are looking into the possibility of signing him. Obviously, he will have many suitors therefore it will be entirely the player’s decision where he goes this summer.
OUT: Dejan Lovren – AC Milan
We now move to our first departure to feature on my summer rumour review and that is Degsy.
It is no secret that Lovren has lost his place in the heart of Liverpool’s defence and realistically, he is now our fourth choice centre back behind both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as Virgil Van Dijk’s partner.
The Croatian has spent five seasons at Anfield since his £20million move from Southampton. Since then he has gone on to make 122 appearances for the Reds, however his supposed imminent departure could come down to the fact that in this last season he has only appeared 18 times.
If reports are to be believed, AC Milan have had a bid in the region of £25million accepted by the Reds and Lovren’s representatives are already in Italy to negotiate his personal terms.
I’ll be honest, I don’t want this deal going through. I am a big fan of the Croat centre back, and although I don’t think he is good enough to be Virgil’s partner at the back, I do believe he provides more than adequate cover should we need it.
Although he is error prone, on his day Lovren is as solid as they come, and his passion for the club just makes me admire him even more. With this being said, the Croatian is 29 and will be turning 30 shortly. He still has a lot to offer a side and it is understandable why he would look elsewhere in order to get more playing time – In which case AC Milan is not a bad destination to go and play football.
The former Italian champions seem to be going through somewhat of a revival of late, and with the possible purchase of Lovren, the Rossoneri would add some bite to their backline. Moreover, the slower pace of Italian football could suit the physical defender down to a T, and although only finishing fifth last season, Milan would still be able to offer Degsy the chance to play European football – albeit the Europa League.
As I’ve said, this is not a transfer I want happening, but it does seem to be in the final stages of completion. Should it go through, I will give you guys an in depth look into the details of the deal and we’ll look back on Dejan’s time at Anfield. It is now very much a waiting game.