According to recent reports, Liverpool have been tipped to pip a host of European giants to the signature of highly-regarded midfielder Houssem Aouar, but why would Jürgen Klopp be interested in the 21-year-old?
A French u21 international, Aouar was a part of the side that contributed to England’s downfall at the 2019 u21 Championship in Italy. Currently of Ligue 1 side Lyon, it was reported by L’Equipe that the club will not step in his way should a suitable deal for both parties be made available, with the Reds reportedly the favourites to take up the opportunity.
It would be a deal that, should it be completed, would cost in the region of €50m and could potentially take up a large portion of the limited funds that might be available this summer amid the current global pandemic. However, there are plenty of reasons why it may be a distinct possibility.
If reports are to be believed then Klopp has been a long-term admirer of the young prodigy, and perhaps he has decided now is the time to make his move.
Current global conditions have affected many clubs and Lyon’s failure to secure European football for next season is predicted to have a lasting effect moving into the future. Aouar, a player who has three goals and as many assists this season has provided enough evidence that he is capable of competing on Europe’s biggest stage in the Champions League and it is thought that he is a player the club may have to let go.
A move to the Premier League would almost certainly appeal to Aouar, of Algerian descent, and Liverpool’s European success in recent years may prove a significant selling point should Klopp attempt to lure him to Anfield.
One of the key attributes for which he has been heavily praised is excellent technique when passing the ball and locating his teammates. In addition, his natural attacking instincts to move the ball forward have been highly commended.
Predominantly a No.8 who offers the versatility required at the highest level and can operate further forward if required, Aouar broke into a Lyon setup known to give opportunities to youth in 2017, and has since gone on to make 133 appearances for Les Gones.
Versatility is a positive trait and, considering the mixed form of Naby Keïta, Adam Lallana’s seemingly imminent departure and the truth that players like Georginio Wijnaldum aren’t getting any younger, it may be a deal potentially worth pursuing for the Reds.
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As Europe’s elite circle, though, including the likes of Juventus, it is highly likely that Liverpool would only contemplate a deal if he is seen as a beneficial investment in the club’s aim of longevity in competing for major honours. The present opportunity to strike a cut-price deal is not the only factor for Michael Edwards and Klopp to consider.
Aouar is quite evidently a talented individual, with the ability to control a game and dominate football matches. However, as shown by past transfer negotiations, the club will not be forced into any premature moves — something worth acknowledging with the potential deal.