Liverpool are amongst a host of Premier League clubs reportedly chasing Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, and his potential arrival could spell trouble for Takumi Minamino.
Spanish news publication La Razon have suggested that the Reds are chasing the Nigerian winger and that Jurgen Klopp would welcome his arrival, although Real Madrid, Manchester United, Leicester City, Everton, Chelsea and Wolves are all also credited with an interest, so it seems that they will face a lot of competition for his signature.
The report also states that the 21-year-old has a release clause of €80 million (£71.3 million), suggesting that it could prove to be an extremely expensive deal for the winger.
So far this season, the Villarreal ace has contributed one goal and one assist in nine La Liga appearances, resulting in an unspectacular 6.56 average rating (per WhoScored).
However, he has impressed in his two appearances in the Europa League, averaging a superb 7.5 rating from his performances in that competition.
If Michael Edwards could sanction a deal for the 21-year-old, he would surely be pushing for a regular spot in Klopp’s first-team and could even be the long-term successor to Mohamed Salah on Liverpool’s right-hand side.
Like Salah, Chukwueze is a left-footed right-winger, with WhoScored suggesting that his strengths include dribbling and through balls, which you could certainly argue would fit well with Liverpool’s style of play.
Despite being just 21, the Nigerian international has already made 90 appearances for the first team at Villarreal, in which time he has contributed an impressive 13 goals and 12 assists (per Transfermarkt).
Samuel Eto’o was full of praise for the right-winger last season, suggesting that:
“He is an incredible player who is growing in leaps and bounds.
“He is a quality player and he needs to score more goals, but he has the quality and ability to be more than just a goal-scoring forward. Once he gets all of that he will be top.” (per Goal)
The youngster also has 14 caps for his country already, suggesting that he has a lot of experience for someone so young.
Considering Takumi Minamino’s poor goal return since joining the club from RB Salzburg (he hasn’t scored in the Premier League or Champions League at all this season), the Japan international could be the one to miss out should Chukwueze arrive at Anfield, unless of course his performances drastically improve.
And, in other news… “Complete” LFC ace let Jurgen Klopp down with a shocking display