Liverpool could land their ideal heir to Roberto Firmino in highly-rated Red Bull Salzburg striker Patson Daka this summer.
What’s the story?
According to Zambian Football, the 22-year-old is available for around £25m over the upcoming transfer window, with several Premier League clubs fighting for his signature.
The report claims that West Ham United are in pole position for Daka, while Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Jurgen Klopp’s charges are also keen on the forward.
Liverpool’s disappointing 2020/21 campaign owed largely to long-term injuries to their first-choice centre-backs, but it was also epitomised by the form of their struggling forwards.
Although Mohamed Salah had another sensational season, bagging 31 goals in all competitions for the Anfield outfit, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino both struggled in front of goal.
The Brazilian’s unique role in Klopp’s system means the South American is deployed in the false nine position and is tasked with providing regular opportunities for teammates alongside his goalscoring duties.
Nevertheless, he is still expected to put the ball in the back of the net with regularity, although that’s an area where the 29-year-old has struggled over the last couple of years. A return of 18 top-flight goals since the start of 2019/20 only marginally betters his total of 15 back in 2017/18 alone, illustrating the decline of the Brazil international.
While the impressive Diogo Jota was able to come into the starting XI for Mane on several occasions, the lack of centre-forward options available on Klopp’s bench meant that the German was forced to persist with an underwhelming Firmino in the recently-concluded campaign.
Therefore, a new striker to offer an alternative option to Firmino is needed at Anfield, and Daka could be the ideal option for the 19-time English champions.
“He is a modern centre-forward, quick, capable of working hard and making the difference because he is skilful and has good movement,” said former Zambia head coach Herve Renard of the youngster.
“I brought him to Lille on trial when he was 17, he had to wait for his chance, and then, unfortunately, I was sacked in the meantime. He is truly one to make a note of because he is a very, very promising player.”
Daka, who has won 22 caps for Zambia, bagged an incredible 34 goals in 42 games for Salzburg in 2020/21, providing a further 12 assists for his teammates, and the clinical marksman would provide a perfect alternative to Firmino for Liverpool as they aim to wrestle back their Premier League crown. Bringing him to Anfield would be a masterclass from sporting director Michael Edwards.