Liverpool have been linked with a move for Lille forward Jonathan Ikone ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
What’s the story?
According to The Mirror, Jurgen Klopp’s charges are interested in acquiring the 23-year-old’s signature after helping Les Dogues secure their first Ligue 1 title in 10 years.
The report claimed that Liverpool are preparing a £25m-plus-player deal for Ikone, with Xherdan Shaqiri possibly moving in the opposite direction.
Edwards would be making a mistake
Injury issues to key centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip played a big part in the Anfield outfit’s disappointing 2020/21 campaign, but perhaps problems in attack were equally to blame.
While Mohamed Salah continued to put the ball in the back of the net at a consistent rate throughout the recently-concluded campaign, bagging 31 goals in 51 appearances for the Reds, the form of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino dipped considerably.
However, another sharp decrease to a joint tally of just 20 league goals in 2020/21, alongside the defensive issues which ravished the Merseyside outfit, saw Klopp’s charges finish 17 points behind table-toppers Manchester City.
The duo’s poor displays have led to several star names being linked with a move to Liverpool this summer such as Jadon Sancho, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, but Ikone is certainly not of the same calibre as those star-studded figures.
Although the France international was a regular in Christophe Galtier’s title-winning side, making 37 top-flight appearances as Lille dethroned Paris Saint-Germain, his contribution was hardly eye-catching.
Ikone bagged just four goals and provided a modest total of five assists en route to his first league title, while Burak Yilmaz and Jonathan David shared the bulk of the goalscoring burden for the newly-crowned Ligue 1 winners.
Therefore, signing the 23-year-old would prove to be a big mistake from director of football Michael Edwards. Liverpool need some top-class reinforcements at the top end of the pitch to mount another title tilt, and Ikone just doesn’t seem up to the required standard.
The Reds have been stung before when signing pacey forwards from Ligue 1, with El Hadji Diouf failing to deliver during his time at Anfield after impressing for Lens, and the club’s hierarchy should learn their lesson this time around.