According to De Telegraaf, Liverpool are interested in signing PSV Eindhoven sensation Steven Bergwijn, who is also attracting the interest from Manchester United, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan.
The Netherlands international has enjoyed an excellent personal campaign so far this season, netting 11 goals and recording 13 assists in both the Eredivisie and the Champions League.
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PSV reportedly value the 21-year-old in excess of £30m, and any potential departure for the young forward could eclipse the record sum from a player exiting the Eredivisie – Memphis Depay’s £31m move to Manchester United is the current record.
Having said that, despite his enhancing reputation in the game, what are the potential consequences of Liverpool signing Bergwijn? Football Fancast takes a look…
As we’ve seen in the past, some players have seriously struggled to adapt to the English game. Luuk de Jong, who was the Eredivisie top scorer in 2011/12 with 25 goals in 24 games, failed to net a single goal for Newcastle in the 2013/14 campaign.
Even the aforementioned Depay, who hit 22 league goals in 30 appearances for PSV before joining the Red Devils, managed to last just a season and a half at Old Trafford before leaving for Lyon – he was branded a flop having scored just seven goals for the club in total.
Liverpool already have enough players who fail to make an impact off the bench in most games, such as Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and occasionally Divock Origi, so the last thing they need is another ineffective player – especially for such a hefty sum.
Bergwijn is a vastly similar player to one of the Reds’ best players, Sadio Mane. Both forwards are right-footed, but prefer to be deployed out on the left flank where they can cut in and test the goalkeeper with their stronger foot.
Given the Senegalese’s form over the past two campaigns, coupled with his unerring ability to stay fit – Mane has missed only a handful of games on his way to netting 39 goals across the pas two seasons – Bergwijn would struggle to dislodge the 26-year-old.
Bergwijn could go down as a very expensive back-up option, with no real guarantees that he will perform in the little game-time that he would be afforded given Mane’s key player status at Anfield.
Given the vast amount of top European clubs chasing Bergwijn’s signature, one would assume that Liverpool will have to give the young Dutchman assurances over his place in the team in order to fend off interest from elsewhere.
Couple that fact with the aforementioned point about Mane pretty much having the only position Bergwijn plays in nailed down as his own, Klopp may have to rotate things around and disrupt his dynamic attacking trio’s rhythm to accommodate Bergwijn.
Whilst depth is key, much of Mohamed Salah’s, Roberto Firmino’s and Mane’s effectiveness derive from the fact that they are constantly playing alongside each other, and have thus struck up a powerful relationship – Bergwijn’s arrival could potentially knock them out of their rhythm.