Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Liverpool Amongst Favorites To Land Barcelona Winger: Could It Backfire For Klopp?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Recent reports from Spanish media outlet El Nacional have revealed that Liverpool are keen on signing Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele in the ongoing transfer window as Jurgen Klopp seems set to add to his attacking options.

The France international is a ‘priority’ target for Liverpool in January as Klopp has been a big admirer of his game since his Borussia Dortmund days. Furthermore, Dembele’s immediate recruitment will help the team deal with the absence of key stars like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who have left for the African Cup of Nations.

The report further states that Naby Keita, who is not part of Klopp’s future plans, could be on his way to Camp Nou as a part of the same deal.

However, Xavi wants Dembele to make an effort to resolve the contract situation and extend his stay at Catalunya.

“I am hoping that he makes an effort,” the Spanish tactician said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“This sporting project is the best one for him. He will not be as happy anywhere else as he is at Barca. We are going to see what he decides.

“I am calm and waiting for news. It does not depend on me. It depends on the club, the player and the agents.”

Nonetheless, a January move could be on the cards if the Blaugrana intend on making any sort of money from the 24-year-old’s departure.

Liverpool Target Ousmane Dembele
Barcelona’s French forward Ousmane Dembele lies on the pitch during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Elche CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 18, 2021. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP) (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency:
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Could It Backfire For Klopp?

Having come through the ranks of French club Stade Rennais, Ousmane Dembele joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016. After netting ten goals and 22 assists in 50 appearances for the German outfit, he signed with Barcelona in 2017 for a fee in the region of £105 million – which could rise to £135 million with potential add-ons.

With just 86 La Liga outings over the last five seasons, it would be an understatement to say that the Frenchman’s move to Spain has been a complete disaster. The unending list of injuries has significantly brought down his ceiling, which is pretty evident from the fact that Barcelona are not willing to offer him the ‘Ballon d’Or wages’ that he has been demanding for.

Having scored or assisted in almost every second game he has played in the Barcelona shirt, there’s no denying that the Vernon-born forward has some outstanding skills under his belt; however, it makes zero sense if your hospital bill exceeds your wage bill at the end of the month.

With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane set to turn 30 this year (besides Roberto Firmino, who turns 31 in October), the last thing Klopp would want at his club is an injury-prone player with humongous wages. Having said that, if Dembele manages to repeat those levels from the time when he was put in the same sentence as Paris Saint-Germain starlet Kylian Mbappe, this might turn out to be the deal of the century.

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