Thursday, December 1, 2022

Update On Liverpool’s Pursuit Of This Talented Liga NOS Full-Back: Should Klopp Get Him On Board?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, A Bola has provided an update on Liverpool‘s pursuit of Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes this summer. The Portuguese news outlet has claimed that the Reds could try to orchestrate a move for the talented youngster but are facing a significant stumbling block as the player is now protected by an exit clause of €45m based on the terms of his latest deal which keeps him at Lisbon until the summer of 2025 (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Mendes’ Incredible Emergence In Portuguese Football

Mendes joined Sporting at a young age before working his way up their youth ranks in recent seasons. At the tender age of 17, he made his senior debut for the Liga NOS giants when he came on as a substitute during the 1-0 win over Pacos Ferreira earlier in this campaign.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a decent run of form for Sporting’s Under-23 team so far. He has featured in 17 matches for them this term, scoring one goal and grabbing three assists in the Liga Revelacao which showcases his knack for getting involved in the final third. Mendes has shown a few glimpses of his true potential over the past ten months.

The promising teenager has also represented Portugal at various youth levels but is yet to secure a senior call-up from Fernando Santos. However, if the Sporting starlet can show some signs of progress in the coming seasons, then he should have a decent shot of making a real impact with his nation at the international stage.

Update on Liverpool's pursuit of Nuno Mendes who is seen in the photo
Oscar Schoenfelder of Germany and Nuno Mendes of Portugal during the u19 international friendly between Germany and Portugal at the Showgrounds on November 13, 2019, in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images for DFB)

What Are The Portuguese Whizkid’s Best Attributes?

Mendes can use his blistering pace and agility to make a few darting runs with the ball down the left flank. He loves to attack the opposition at every chance he gets and is usually quite a reliable defender at the back. However, the Portuguese prospect still has a lot to learn before he is ready to taste Premier League football every week.

Should The Reds Get Mendes On Board This Summer?

A left-back of Mendes’ skillset and potential will undeniably be a shrewd signing for the Merseyside outfit in the long-run. He will bolster the quality of the Liverpool academy and could also serve as a decent competitor for Andrew Robertson in the race to secure a left-back spot in Jurgen Klopp’s first-team when he is ready.

Klopp’s excellent track record on developing youth makes him the perfect man to get the best out of Mendes, so it makes sense for the Reds to consider a move to bring him to the north-west of England this summer. However, Mendes’ €45m release clause means that he won’t come cheap even though he has only made one first-team appearance for Sporting thus far.

Liverpool are better off staying put right now and should only launch an offer when he is available for a lower price. Otherwise, Klopp should focus on recruiting some of his other targets rather than splurge a lot of cash on an inexperienced left-back like Mendes, who is yet to make his mark at the top level.

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