Nine more days before the transfer window slams shuts for Liverpool Football Club and their cohorts in the Premier League. Liverpool fans are hoping against hope that there may be news peeping out from somewhere that they can clutch on to, one that links them to a defensive midfielder or a left-back. There must be something, somewhere that can offset this feeling of denial, that those in red of Liverpool, seem to have resigned themselves with. OH, what’s this? HOLD on. There’s a takeover in progress as per the most prestigious news sites in the United Kingdom. A takeover, no less, from Chinese mega money monoliths, a state-backed investment vehicle with an estimated wealth of, wait for it, 405 billion GBP. To put that in perspective, Roman Abramovich, Chelsea, money-lord is worth 5.2 billion GBP, and this 800 million GBP takeover by China Everbright, a front for government assets-backed China Investment Corporation, could make Liverpool, perhaps, the richest club in the world.
With a macro asset management firm coming into the picture, looking to establish a value on the club, you’d think, normally, that Liverpool would finally splurge the cash on a transfer that would be a signal of intent from the American owners, drawing a line on the stand, a bravado-signing, posturing in an effort the club’s weighty presence in European football scene. It’s no surprise, hence, that the papers today are fraught with news of Liverpool going head to head with Arsenal for, no, not Blaise Matuidi, no, not even Ignacio Camacho, Ruben Neves, or Ricardo Rodriguez – but, Nottingham Forest’s 19-year-old winger, Oliver Burke, for £10m. Well, of course.
Here’s JD of The Fourth Official, who was looking forward to writing up a piece on Luis Suarez coming back to Merseyside, who has now been recommissioned to write on the boy Oliver, and what Liverpool fans can expect apart the low drum of disillusionment filling their hearts.
Eye for Goal
The fleet-footed teenager has a happy knack of adding to the score sheet, already notching up three league strikes from just four appearances this season, carrying on his fine form from last season that earned him his first Scottish cap. The barrel-chested raider couples his stamina with his intensity and speed on the run, and it’s easy to see why he’d catch Juergen ‘geggenpressing’ Klopp’s fancy.
Direct and relentless, his propensity to pick up the ball from deep and run at full-pelt, steaming on with his head down, will be deemed as both a strength and a weakness. His technical versatility is underpinned by his ability to effectively keep rubbing the chalk on the outer edges of his either boot, on the left flank or on the right – most preferably, on the right – a spot Liverpool would do well to bolster, considering Sadio Mane is the only real option in terms of pace that could peg a team back by its sheer virtue and quality. Painfully apparent vs Burnley.
Stuck On the 5th Gear
As touched upon, his most apparent trait is also where the naivety creeps in. Needs to learn to use his turf-tearing pace economically. Too often his game can be insular, with a predictive run pattern on the ball. While he does bust to gut to track back and cover, his quickness means he looks to stifle the opponent on the ball by just holding his run, and putting a foot in, and not jockeying as well as he possibly could be. Defenders with high concentration levels should have a problem dealing with his forte, as Oliver doesn’t often look to slow down and execute a trick or two before knocking the ball on.
An understudy to Sadio Mane incisiveness is required, but Oliver Burke may just be that and nothing more, considering the areas of his game that still needs improving. It’s obvious as to why Liverpool would prize him, but, we reckon they’d do better looking elsewhere, at a more established player who could offer them the same attributes, but in a more refined manner. Luis Suarez, maybe?