Liverpool have been linked with a whole host of players over the past few weeks and months.
Perhaps the two main ones, along with RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, are Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho. The two are in stunning form so far this campaign, and would bring a huge amount of quality to the squad. However, signing the two of them is going to be extremely difficult.
The PSG man, according to Julien Laurens of ESPN, will cost in the region of €300m (£254.5m), whilst former Premier League striker Jan Aage Fjortoft says Borussia Dortmund want £126m for 19-year-old Sancho. As such, if the Reds do want to sign one of them at the end of the campaign, they will likely need to make a choice between the two. So, who should they bring in?
Obviously, their arrival would mean that something would have to change amongst Liverpool’s starting line-up – either one of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino would need to drop out of the side, or the formation would see a midfielder depart. The latter would perhaps be best for Mbappe as he could slot into the centre-forward role, but Salah’s goals per game ratio in that position is even better than the 21-year-old’s – he has 28 goals in 32 appearances (0.875 per game) compared to the 2018 World Cup winner’s 70 in 96 (0.73 per game).
As such, they would likely need to slot in on the right flank. That is still a position in which Mbappe has done well – he has 29 in 54 so far there – but this season Sancho has been in stunning form. Before this weekend’s matches in the Bundesliga, he already had 12 goals and 12 assists – he was the first player in Europe’s top five leagues to manage 10 of each in all competitions – whilst he also has two goals and two assists in the Champions League. Mbappe has done slightly better in front of goal – he has 19 strikes across the two competitions – but his seven assists are half of what Sancho has managed.
Sancho’s team play is far more impressive. Before the weekend, he had 2.3 key passes per game in the Bundesliga compared to Mbappe’s 1.7, whilst his pass completion rate stood at 84.4% – Mbappe has managed just 79.6% in Ligue 1. For Liverpool this term, only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson have managed as many or more than the trio of Firmino, Salah and Mane in the Premier League in terms of providing goals. Mbappe would only just scrape into that group based on his Ligue 1 form. Sancho, meanwhile, would be clear of Alexander-Arnold, who has 10, by two.
Two years younger and considerably cheaper, Sancho is a far better fit for Liverpool. That is taking nothing away from the former AS Monaco – he is a player at the top of his game – but sometimes, you just need to look at what is better for the team.