Signing Nicolas Pepe would have been a waste of money for Liverpool

According to The Daily Mail’s Dominic King, Liverpool have “absolutely no interest” in signing Lille forward Nicolas Pepe this summer.

What’s the word?

Reports in recent weeks and months had suggested the Ivorian could be on his way out of the French side, and that Liverpool and Bayern Munich were amongst the leading candidates for his signature.

It had even been claimed by Lille’s president Gerard Lopez that Jurgen Klopp’s side had held discussions over possibly signing Pepe this summer.

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However, the update from King appears to suggest the Reds might have cooled their interest in the 24-year-old for now at least, and that could well be the smart decision in the long-run.

A want, not a need

When Liverpool splashed out big-money to sign Virgil van Dijk and then Alisson, it was to address two positions that the Reds were quite visibly weak in. The duo came in and hit the ground running as first-team stars and were a major upgrade on what the Merseyside club previously had.

In Pepe’s case, the Reds boast two of the most outstanding wingers in European football, who shared the Premier League’s Golden Boot last season. Both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were simply on fire last year and are surely amongst the first names on the team sheet.

Signing Pepe for the type of money reportedly being quoted would be perplexing. The kind of money needed to bring the Ivory Coast international to Anfield is what is usually spent on bringing in bona-fide starters. Pepe – for all his undeniable quality – would most likely only make the bench for the Reds.

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The demand for a potential game-changing substitute – particularly in the wide areas – is understandable. But it doesn’t feel like an absolute necessity like it was when Klopp’s side chose to lure Van Dijk and Alisson to Anfield.

A move for Pepe would be the icing on the cake so to speak and the Reds are simply not built like some of their more wealthy counterparts in spending huge sums of money for bench players.

So whilst a move for Pepe – who is valued at £58.5m by Transfermarkt –  may have improved the quality on the Reds’ bench massively, Klopp and the club are right to neglect such a costly signing given how little he would actually play.