24 Feb 2017

Next Pogba? 'Excellent' midfielder confirms 'contact with Liverpool' after secret trip to Anfield

Lazio's new midfielder has confirmed that he held transfer talks with Liverpool during the recent January transfer window.

In January, Finnish midfielder Mohamed Akubar reportedly 'visited Liverpool FC' (presumably to discuss a possible transfer) and in an interview this week, the 18-year old confirmed contact with the Reds.

“I had contact with Liverpool, but then I negotiated only with Lazio. I had a trial with Lazio, and then my agent called and told me they wanted to sign me. Everything happened very quickly."

Some info about Abukar:

* 18-year old defensive midfielder. Contract expires: 2021

* Nicknamed the 'Finnish Pogba'.

* 30 appearances for Finnish 2nd division side Ykkönen.

* 11 apps for various Finland youth teams.

* Jan 2017: TPS head coach Mika Laurikainen's assessment: "He [Mohamed] played an excellent season at Ykkösen level, and developed as a player".

Based on Abukar's comments, it appears that he rejected a move to Liverpool in favour of Lazio, and in my view, he made the right decision. Teenage midfielders rarely become first-team regulars at Anfield; the typical career path involves toiling away at the Academy, before being sent out on loan to some third-rate club, before finally being dumped on the scrapheap.

Liverpool's interest shows, however, that the Reds may have finally woken up to the fact that the club needs defensive midfielders, both in the Academy, and in the first-team squad.


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