Jamie Carragher has told Sky Sports that he thought Liverpool may look at Hakim Ziyech, who is now on his way to Chelsea.
The Morocco international’s club Ajax have agreed a €40m (£33.3m) fee with the Blues, with him set to stay with de Godenzonen until the end of the season before making the move to Stamford Bridge.
However, the former Reds defender clearly felt that the Anfield outfit should have made a move for the 26-year-old. He explained: “The Ajax lad was outstanding last season in that Champions League run. He was a player I thought actually Liverpool may look at as well; he can play both sides, maybe as cover for Mane or Salah. But it looks like Chelsea have gone into the market and they’re going to do get something done already.”
Indeed, he was fantastic last term for Ajax in Europe. In 11 matches in the competition, he scored three goals and provided three assists, picking up a huge average WhoScored rating of 7.74. And it wasn’t just in that tournament in which he excelled – he also scored 16 goals and provided 13 assists in the Eredivisie as well.
This term, he is performing to a similar standard. In Europe, he managed two goals and four assists in six matches before Ajax got knocked out of the competition in the group stages, whilst he has six goals and 12 assists in 18 matches in the domestic league. In fact, he has managed at least 10 assists in each of the last six league campaigns.
This is a supremely talented player who has earned his right to play at the highest level on a regular basis. Not, as Carragher says, to provide cover for other players. He is far better than that – he has proven it year after year in the Netherlands. Whilst the Reds could do with signing another option to cover the flanks – Liverpool are willing to let Xherdan Shaqiri leave in the summer for a fee of £25m, whilst Divock Origi, who has regularly played on the left this term, is a striker by trade – Ziyech deserves much more than to play second fiddle.