3 May 2016

Contact Made: Liverpool in talks to sign 'amazing' £59m attacker who's 'like Iniesta'

Liverpool are reportedly tracking 20-year old Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, who is also wanted by Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, and Man City.

According to French newspaper L'Equipe over the weekend:

* Liverpool are in talks with Monaco over a potential summer deal for Lemar.

* Monaco are only willing to sell if an interested club matches the £59m Man Utd splurged on Anthony Martial.

Some info about Lemar:

* Central attacking midfielder, who can also play on either wing. Current contract expires: 2020.

* Monaco: 10 goals/assists in 32 games (One every 2015 mins). Nominated this year for Ligue One's 'Young Player of the Year' award.

* Feb 2016: Former Monaco defender Eric Di Meco: "He [Lemar] can play in any position bar centre-forward. He's good on the flank or behind the attacker, and he's a strong runner."

* Mar 2016: former team-mate Alaeddine Yahia raved: “His left foot is amazing – it’s like a hand – he puts the ball where he wants”.

* Mar 2016: Monaco boss Leonard Jardim's assessment: "He [Lemar] is a player I like a lot, he has really improved and he has become an important player for us".

* June 2015: Caen Sporting Director Xavier Gravelaine noted: "Thomas needs to learn that talent isn't enough on its own. When he bulks up a bit, when he can play 90 minutes for 38 games in a season, then we'll be talking about Thomas Lemar for France"

* Sep 2015: Caen’s youth development director Philippe Tranchant enthused: "He [Lemar] always makes himself available and ensure that he is always giving the player in possession a solution. He senses the game ahead of the others, and in that regards, he is like [Andres] Iniesta”.

£59m for a massively inexperienced 20-year old who's achieved nothing in the game? You're having a laugh. In risk vs. reward terms, it's just not worth it, and the Reds should leave the ridiculously extortionate deals to Man Utd.

Additionally, the reality is that the best players in the world rarely cost that much in their teens and/or early 20s. Examples: Messi came through the Barca youth system; Ronaldo cost Man Utd £12m at the age of 18; Suarez cost Ajax €7.5m at the age of 20; at 19, Juve paid a £800k for Paul Pogba...and the list goes on.

I can't think of single player over the last 25 years (between the ages of 18-20) who cost £30m-£40m+ and went on to become a consistent top-class performer. There are, however, plenty of young players who sold for obscene transfer fees and failed to deliver.

Author: Jaimie K


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