18 Mar 2017

Transfer Update: Liverpool tried to sign 'explosive' £34m sensation who's 'like Thierry Henry'

Liverpool are expected to pursue several of Monaco's young stars this summer, but it appears that the Reds already tried to sign one of the French's club's most 'explosive' attackers.

Last season, Liverpool reportedly sent scouts to watch Monaco winger Kylian Mbappe, and according to the Daily Mail this week:

"Mbappe is a Real Madrid fan but he turned them down, along with Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Bayern to sign for Monaco at 15".

So many talented young players make the huge mistake of overestimating their ability and leaving smaller clubs too early, but Mbappe - who Arsene Wenger claims is 'like Thierry Henry' - is a prime example of a teenager who put his development ahead of money and prestige.

I have no doubt that if Mbappe had signed for Liverpool 3 years ago, he'd probably on loan at Cheltenham or Barnsley right now after being endlessly ignored for regular game time.

As a comparison, consider 19-year old Reds attacker Harry Wilson: the guy has 51 goals/assists so far this season for the U23s and he still can't get a game in Klopp's first team. 51! What makes it worse is that Wilson is a freakin' winger, a position for which Liverpool have zero depth.

To add insult to injury, the far less prolific (and younger) Ben Woodburn gets regular first-team chances ahead of Wilson, with the irony being that Woodburn - a striker - is always deployed out wide. Clearly, in Klopp's world, the revolutionary idea of playing a winger on the freakin' wing is a retrograde concept.

I'd even go so far as to call the continued Wilson snub a dereliction of duty. Klopp's job is to utilise the playing assets in a way that benefits the club, and when a young player delivers consistently exceptional performance (like Wilson and his 51 goals/assists before March is even over), the manager has (IMO) a duty to continue his development with promotion to the first team.

This is the successful strategy employed by Souness (McManaman and Fowler), Evans (Carra and Owen), Houllier (Gerrard) and Rodgers (Sterling), and it works, damn it!

It's an absolute joke, which is why I'd never encourage any player aged 16-21 to sign for Liverpool. If Fowler, Owen, and McManaman were coming through now, forget it. They'd never make it, especially under Klopp, who pays lip service to the idea of youth development, but doesn't actually follow through on a consistent basis.

Wilson is 19, and if Klopp showed some faith in him and gave him a run of games (as opposed to dumping him on the bench after one barren game, which is what happens to Origi), I have no doubt that he'd develop into a valuable member of the senior squad.

As for £34m-rated Mbappe - forget it. Liverpool have absolutely no chance of signing him, or any of Monaco's young stars.


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