Liverpool transfer target Renato Sanches could be the closest thing to Jurgen Klopp getting his own Steven Gerrard…
Fabrizio Romano recently claimed that the Portugal international is on the list of targets the Reds have, and that a number of clubs, including Serie A giants Milan continue to have their eye on him.
Klopp himself has previously admitted that Gerrard would be the one player he wished could have managed, saying: “That’s easy. It’s Stevie. When we played in Sydney three or four years ago and after the season we didn’t have a proper team and we invited (former players Steve) McManaman, (Daniel) Agger, Jamie Carragher and Stevie.
“Stevie and me together in the roles, he as the man on the pitch and me as a coach that would have been nice.”
While Klopp may have missed the boat on that one, he can find a midfielder equally as exciting and industrious in Sanches.
The Portuguese ace has been dubbed as a “machine” and as a “complete athlete”, and his box-to-box dynamism and drive is something that saw Bayern Munich icon Lothar Matthaus waxing lyrical about after an eye-catching goal against Benfica.
He said: “The way Sanches began and then scored the goal, it was similar to how I played. The commitment, dynamism, speed, participation, steadiness – he could have fallen twice en route to goal. But he wanted to get the goal he needed – he prevailed and received his reward. In that sense, he really reminded me of myself.”
As per FBREF, the 24-year-old completed 65.5% of his dribbles last season in Ligue 1, while he made 8.37 progressive carries per 90 minutes – a real indication of the kind of power and energy he shows when driving through midfield.
The £27m-rated powerhouse could well be Liverpool’s natural successor to Gerrard in the middle of the park.