Thursday, January 27, 2022

Liverpool Eyeing A Swoop For This Olympiakos Centre-Back: Should They Pursue The Transfer?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from the Daily Mail is believed to be true, Liverpool are keen on Olympiakos centre-back Pape Abou Cissé whom they scouted extensively in Istanbul during a recent Europa League fixture against Fenerbahce. The Reds, however, are not alone in the race as the likes of Everton and Arsenal had their representatives in attendance.

Cisse is not the only player who grabbed the attention though and according to Greek outlet SportTime, young midfield attacker Aguibou Camara also left the Liverpool scout impressed during Olympiakos’ thumping 3-0 victory on the road. But the focus is now on the 26-year-old Senegalese who has made significant strides since leaving Ligue 2 outfit Ajaccio back in 2017.

Despite a slow start, the defender eventually secured a starting status in the heart of the backline. His emergence earned him a loan move to Saint-Étienne earlier this year, but the French side decided not to make the move permanent even though Cisse was deployed week in, week out. The Senegal international is now back with the Greece supergiants and has made 13 appearances already across competitions.

Liverpool target Pape Cisse celebrates win against Arsenal
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 27: Pape Abou Cisse of Olympiacos FC celebrates victory after the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC at Emirates Stadium on February 27, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Red-Whites, the reigning Super League champions, have made a strong start with only 2 goals conceded from 5 outings. Cisse, alongside former Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund centre-half Sokratis Papastathopoulos, has formed a resolute central defensive pairing and his aerial, as well as physical supremacy, might see him securing a high-profile switch to Premier League.

Why A Move For Cisse Does Not Make Sense For Liverpool

Liverpool, meanwhile, are well equipped in deep defence after an injury-ravaged 2020-21 campaign. They ended up with academy duo Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams amid the injury absence of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ozan Kabak. Nevertheless, the crisis has now been addressed by roping in Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

The Reds decided not to make Kabak’s loan move permanent after securing the Konate deal. Williams has joined Swansea City on temporary terms for first-team minutes and the return of Van Dijk, Matip and Gomez has sent Phillips way down the pecking order in spite of last season’s heroics. His only appearance has been for the Liverpool U21s in their EFL Trophy defeat against Bolton Wanderers earlier this week and the club must decide whether to retain the Englishman or let him leave in winter for regular gametime. With so many centre-backs in the ranks, Cisse’s signing would be surplus to requirement for the Merseysiders.

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