15 May 2017

Break the Bank: Smicer tells 'Liverpool' to sign 'unbelievable' £60m attacker who's 'like Thierry Henry'

A new striker is a clear transfer priority for Liverpool this summer, and according to ex-Red Vladimir Smicer, Jurgen Klopp should pull out all the stops to sign one Ligue One's breakout stars of the season.

When asked over the weekend who Liverpool should sign this summer, Smicer - who scored a crucial goal in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul - told the Liverpool Echo:

“I like Kylian Mbappe. What I've seen from him has been really unbelievable for such a young player. All the big clubs in Europe will chase him so it would be difficult to get him, but if I was the Liverpool manager I'd go for him.”

Last season, Liverpool reportedly sent scouts to watch Mbappe, and in March, the Daily Mail claimed:

"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 development ahead of money.

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

As a comparison, consider Harry Wilson: the guy has close to 60 goals/assists so far this season for the U23s and he still can't get a game in Klopp's first team. What makes it worse is that Wilson is a 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 almost always deployed out wide. Seriously, you couldn't make it up. In Klopp's world, the revolutionary idea of playing a winger on the wing is clearly a retrograde concept.

And why does Woodburn get in ahead of Wilson? Because he runs more, and the same fate would've befallen Mbappe. Indeed, according to French newspaper L'Equipe, Mbappe rejected a move to the Premier League because he wanted to play for an 'expansive' manager, who allowed him to express himself on the field.

At Liverpool (under Klopp) Mbappe would've been forced to prioritise running, pressing, and drifting out to the wings because, according to the Reds' illustrious manager, it makes 'no sense' for a central striker to spend most of his time playing centrally.

Mbappe arguably would've fared better under Brendan Rodgers. As he showed with Raheem Sterling, Rodgers wasn't afraid to put an attacking teenager into the first team and keep him there, and it paid dividends for the club. I'm also sure that if Rodgers were in charge right now, Wilson would be regularly in the first team.

As for £60m-rated Mbappe forget it. Liverpool have absolutely no chance of signing him, or any of Monaco's young stars.


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