Nothing excites the average Premier League fan more than reports linking their club to a prodigious transfer target, be they ‘the next Lionel Messi’, ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’ or in Manchester United forward Anthony Martial’s case, ‘the next Thierry Henry’.
Such comparisons can often be inaccurate and premature but they do inspire the imagination, forcing fans to think about what their side might look in a few years’ time, containing one of world football’s biggest stars.
With that in mind, Football FanCast are running the rule over some of the beautiful game’s most exciting prodigies recently linked to the Premier League’s top clubs.
This article focuses on Liverpool, a club who certainly know a thing or two about turning world class potential into world class talent. The likes of Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez all emerged as the beautiful game’s best during their time at Anfield, to name but a few.
So which of these FIVE prodigies should Jurgen Klopp sign, Liverpool fans? Let us know by commenting below…
Having reportedly attempted to bring him to Borussia Dortmund in summer 2014, Domenico Berardi has already been tipped to become Jurgen Klopp’s first signing as Liverpool gaffer.
The 21-year-old is one of Serie A’s most exciting talents, having already registered 44 goals in 111 appearances for current employers Sassuolo.
The young forward reached the 30 league goal landmark in just 59 appearances – quicker than a certain Mr. Lionel Messi – and last season finished up as Serie A’s top provider with ten assists in 32 outings.
A co-ownership agreement with Juventus prevented Klopp from adding Berardi, who is perhaps best described as a wide forward or support striker, to the Westfalenstadion ranks two summers ago.
But Sassuolo have now acquired the 6 foot 1 attacker’s full playing rights, meaning Liverpool would only have to negotiate with one club in order to sign him – although Juve do have a buy back option which expires next summer.
We’ve been receiving almost weekly updates on Liverpool’s pursuit of Ruben Neves this season and it’s not hard to see why the Merseysiders are so interested in the Porto prodigy.
Indeed, the midfielder is just 18 years of age but has already made himself a permanent fixture in the Dragons’ starting XI, amassing 44 appearances across all competitions since his debut in August 2014.
In the process, Neves has become Porto’s youngest goalscorer in top flight history, the youngest player to ever represent Portugal at U21 level and the youngest ever captain in the history of the Champions League – wearing the armband during a 2-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv last month.
It’s that level of maturity, combined with the composure and style the Portuguese brings to the middle of the park, which has got Liverpool and other potential suitors so excited.
Resultantly, however, Porto know they’ve struck gold and are unlikely to let the teenager leave Estadio du Dragao unless Liverpool activate his £29million release clause.
Liverpool saw a €15million bid for Leroy Sane rejected during the summer, so the Anfield out will undoubtedly be taking an interest in the Schalke winger’s scintillating start to the season.
Indeed, the 19-year-old winger has claimed four goals and two assists in eleven Bundesliga outings, only six of which have been starts, whilst his 3 successful dribbles per match is the joint-fourth best average throughout the division.
Also boasting three goals in his last four appearances for Germany’s U21 squad, the speedy teenager has plenty of admirers at the moment – including Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
Having extended his Veltins Arena contract until 2019 in July, however, the Miners are unlikely to sell any time soon.
According to The Daily Star, Liverpool are currently scouting PSG prodigy Odsonne Edouard.
The 17-year-old is yet to make a first team appearance for the Ligue 1 champions but boasts a rather sensational scoring record at youth level, including 17 goals in 16 appearances for France and 35 in 30 for PSG the Parisians season.
During this summer, the 6 foot striker won the U17 European Championship with Les Tricolores, bagging the Golden Boot with eight goals and the Player of the Tournament award.
Consequentially, PSG are incredibly keen to hold onto the Kourou-born teenager. But contract negotiations have broken down in recent weeks, meaning he could leave Parc de Princes on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Dubbed ‘the new Cesc Fabregas’, Dani Ceballos is causing quite the stir down at Real Betis.
Indeed, the 19-year-old midfielder has already registered 37 appearances for the Benito Villamarin outfit, playing a pivotal role in their promotion to the Spanish top flight during the 2014/15 campaign.
He’s still finding his feet in La Liga, averaging 1.1 tackles, 1 interception and 1 successful dribble per match from his nine outings this term – only four of which have been starts.
But the teenager has also impressed for Spain’s youth squads, earning early promotion to U21 level after winning the U19 European Championship in July.
The bad news is that the mooted Arsenal and Liverpool target has just signed a new contract with Betis. The good news, however, is that the five-year deal includes a release clause believed to be within the region of £9million and £11million.