Barcelona have failed to renew Ousmane Dembele’s contract, leaving the young Frenchman free to discuss terms with interested parties. Since losing star forwards Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mané to the African Cup of Nations, Liverpool have been heavily linked with the young Frenchman.
In August 2017, Ousmane Dembele completed the second most expensive transfer of all time at just over €105million. Moving from Borussia Dortmund where he’d worked under Thomas Tuchel, the youngster was touted to be a world-beater with a bright future ahead.
Four years later, and 102 games missed through injury, his value according to Transfermarkt sits at just £27million. The Frenchman has been plagued by injury and is at risk of simply becoming another ‘what if’ player.
Links with Dembele are nothing new to a Liverpool fan’s social feed, as a graduate of Klopp’s former club this comes as no surprise. Mario Götze, Marco Reus, even Robert Lewandowski, have all been linked with a move to Anfield since the German’s arrival.
So, is there any substance to the rumours?
Dembele is an accomplished wide-forward who can also operate more centrally. Most of his football is played on the right-hand side, though his two-footed ability has led to him being deployed on the left.
Yet, his last two La Liga seasons at Barcelona have been less than impressive statistically. Both seasons have seen him produce a total of 36 appearances, 6 goals, and 5 assists. It doesn’t read well.
Nonetheless, Dembele undoubtedly possesses the ability to strike fear into the hearts of defenders and create opportunities whenever in possession.
Ousmane is as close as I’ve seen to Mané’s explosive acceleration, and emulates Sadio’s unique unpredictability. Watching him play certainly leaves a better impression than reading his statistics.
Should we sign him? No.
Current rumours surrounding Salah’s contract situation illustrate the first hurdle, he would be forced to take a massive wage-cut or FSG would have to tear up their much-maligned wage structure.
Coupled with his tear-jerking injury record, 102 games missed over five years, doesn’t make for a great package. I'm sure he will get a move away and rekindle his career, just not at Anfield under the watchful gaze of Michael Edwards' shrewd transfer model.
If I were Edwards, I'd turn my gaze toward the East End. Jarrod Bowen, for me, presents a much better option. Linked with the Reds last summer, this season he's seen a considerable leap in form.
The Englishman has produced 30 appearances, 8 goals, and 10 assists in all competitions this season. More importantly, the Hammer oozes the hunger and desire synonymous with a Klopp player.