Liverpool’s prudent Moneyball strategy has taken a number of years to perfect but the fabled transfer committee appear to be getting it right more often than not.
Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk have been followed through the door by energetic midfielders Fabinho and Naby Keita as Jurgen Klopp looks to have convinced his board to loosen the pursestrings.
That is likely due to the Reds’ rampage into the Champions League final, which has earned the German total trust at Anfield, but does not appear to have sated his desire to spend more.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo have reported that Liverpool made a club-record bid for Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio as Klopp looks for his first Anfield trophy.
But what would be the consequences if Asensio did move to Merseyside? We’ve taken a closer look to see how the move – if it does actually happen – might play out…
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Klopp has undoubtedly done great work to improve Liverpool but he is still looking for his first trophy in charge of the club.
Asensio’s arrival would obviously aid their Champions League hopes, but given that Europe’s elite competition remains something of a lottery, his impact may be more profound in the Premier League.
Consistency is the key on that front. That means breaking down deep, organised defences with more regularity and the arrival of an elite prospect like Asensio can only help on that front.
All eyes will be on Mo Salah this season. Opposition teams will have spent the summer studying how he managed to plunder so many goals last time around in preparation to lay down plans to stop him in 2018/19.
The Egyptian will also be under pressure to show that he is not a one-season wonder; the hype over Harry Kane was held back by such reservations but Liverpool fans appear unconcerned.
Therefore, having a huge, big-money signing on the opposite flank would offer Salah some restbite from that scrutiny, both on and off the pitch.
Liverpool have already seen a potential deal for the Frenchman collapse once and signing Asensio for such big money would surely kill it off once and for all.
The Reds don’t have the money to spend big on two attacking midfielders on top of Fabinho and Keita in the same summer, especially after the January club-record capture of van Dijk.
Fekir is unlikely to want to join to play second-fiddle and the arrival of Asensio would surely make the Lyon man dubious about the size of the role he would play if he did make the move to Anfield.
Mane had reportedly agreed to leave Anfield to join Real Madrid prior to the Champions League final and with Asensio likely to prefer a left-wing berth if he does arrive, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Senegalese international leaves the club.
Klopp may well want four top-class options to fill his three attacking roles – and Liverpool do need depth after all – but as Liverpool’s most impressive Champions League final performer, Mane may want a guaranteed starting place.
Playing second fiddle to a club-record signing is unlikely to appeal and Liverpool may also need to sell to balance the books. It could happen.