There are less than 24 hours before the Premier League season ends with an Anfield game, which is about to decide the way Liverpool FC would go. A win means a Champions League qualification, a loss means another miserable season in terms of delivering on the club’s ambitions and promised given to the fans.
At this moment the sporting press leaked the news that Liverpool have made an offer for the Monaco’s young star Kylian Mbappe. The influential local newspaper Liverpool Echo has leven came up with the title “Kylian Mbappe to Liverpool? Reds should be excited for what he is – not who he is“.
According to the Spanish newspaper Marca, the Ligue 1 champions Monaco have rejected a £64m (€75m) bid for Mbape, made by LFC and are holding out for £86m (€100m), though they would prefer to keep the 18-year-old sensation for another season. I understand the press and that transfer speculations are something the football fans live on during the summer break.
Mbape is a talented young player and it makes sense for any club to try to sign him. However, if Liverpool have really made a £64m for the young French, then it is very likely that the Reds executives don’t understand where Liverpool FC is at this moment and what the club management needs to do to succeed next season.
Some of the worlds best strikers… play at Anfield
Liverpool current strikers – Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge are among the best in the European football. Add to them Divock Origi and LFC has a competition of five gifted offensive players for 3 or 4 positions in the starting eleven. This doesn’t mean that the Reds don’t need reinforcements in the forward line. It simply means that it might be a mistake to break the club’s transfer record to sign an 18-year old player, who would need to adapt to a new football league and to the life in a new country.
Lifestyle always matters, especially to anyone who would be earning millions before turning 21. Whoever thinks that the life in Monaco has anything to do with the life in Liverpool is probably someone who doesn’t pay a lot of attention to geography. Should Mbape or any other kid arrives at Merseyside, one would need at least six months to adapt to the Premier League and the local life. Anthony Martial who has signed with Man United is a good example for that. He has scored 15 times in 55 appearances for the Manchester club, but he still hasn’t made the impact for United that they needed. Man United are nowhere they have been before and Jose Mourinho decided that he needed someone like Ibrahimovic to lead the attack, instead of building it around the £57.6 million rated young Martial.
So Liverpool executives should not expect that someone 18-year old like Mbape would deliver immediately and help the Reds to achieve their ultimate goal – to win the Premier League. However, there’s something even more important than the qualities of any exciting young players and the contribution that one would make to Liverpool FC.
Any transfer record breaking offers for Mbape or other young strikers depreciate the current talent that Reds have in attack.
Liverpool FC has the striking force the team needs to win the Premier League next season and to go as far as possible in the Champions League, should they qualify and enter the group stage.
Reds probably need to add another gifted striker to their squad. However, this should be someone who is very likely to start scoring from the first match. LFC fans know what I’m talking about as they saw it this season with Sadio Mane’s arrival. Reds probably need to buy a proven striker who “guarantees” goals in the Premier League!
Even if the Liverpool FC owners Fenway Sports Group think they need to splash millions for the next European football star, it would be much smarter to sign the 24-years old Luan Vieira from Gremio.
Going Brazilian – a great long term strategy for the Reds!
Luan is one of the rising stars in Brazilian football and at his age his is mature enough to move to a foreign country and to adapt to the local life. Luan’s transfer to Liverpool will be probably welcomed by his compatriots Coutinho, Firmino and Lucas (should he stays beyond his current 10th year in the club). Coutinho, Firmino and Luan would not just form an unstoppable Brazilian attacking trio for the Reds, they would also be the Liverpool’s FC ambassadors to Brazil. Just imagine the impact those such a trio would have on Liverpool’s reputation and the club’s image in the world’s biggest market for football talent. The result would be a generation of Brazilian kids, who’d be dreaming to play at Anfield. Going back to Mbape, I’d ask how many French kids would he turn Reds?
Solid defense should be Liverpool’s top priority?
Let’s imagine that Reds break up their transfer record and add Kylian Mbape, Luan or any other gifted striker to their squad. Such signing might work and would even make the current strong Liverpool’s attack unstoppable. Let’s look at the forward line and say that any new signing would score 15 plus goals for the Reds next season.
Now, let’s look at the Liverpool’s defense. Are the likes of Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Kalgan and Joel Matip the defenders who’d stop the attacking formations of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germaine, Juventus, Athletics Madrid, Barcelona or Real Madrid? I doubt that and the Liverpool’s fans probably hope that no one at Red’s management office considers the current center-halves as good enough to play at a the Champions League level.
The Merseyside team dropped to many points due to poor defensive performances this year both home and away. The only thing that would guarantee that Liverpool would progress next season both in England and in the Champions League is the solid defense. So the Red’s owners need to spend as much as they should to strengthen the team defense. They should sign Virgil van Dijk or any other world-class center-half who can help the LFC to stop the opposition strikers. This is the best thing that FSG and Klopp could do in the transfer market.
Liverpool need to qualify for the Champions League and then must sign the right players. If they are going after the wrong ones, this probably means that the club’s leadership cannot set the right targets. Setting wrong targets means a lack of footballing judgment. If the things go wrong the Champions League qualification would just bring more frustration fro the fans.