According to Christian Falk, who is a journalist from German media outlet Bild, Liverpool are scouting Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica. The 23-year-old, according to the same source, has a release clause of €38m (£32m).
It has been a mightily difficult season for Rashica’s club in the Bundesliga this term. Die Werderaner were a joy to watch last season – they scored in all but one league match, and finished just one point behind the last Europa League qualification spot.
Manager Florian Kohfeldt was even awarded the German Manager of the Year award for his efforts. However, this campaign, they have dropped off the face of the earth.
Only newly-promoted Paderborn separate them from the bottom of the table, and they have managed to pick up a measly 17 points from 23 games. They also have the worse defence in the league, having shipped a huge 53 goals.
They are staring relegation in the face, but Rashica has been the one bright spark amid the misery.
As the majority of his teammates have floundered around him, Rashica has stood up to be counted. His 22 matches to date so far this campaign have seen a return of 10 goals and four assists, and it is worth noting the quality of the opponents he has bagged against – he scored against Bayern Munich, whilst he also netted against Borussia Dortmund in the league and the DFB Pokal.
This is nothing new for the Kosovo international, though. Last term, he managed 12 goals and six assists, albeit in a side that was far more effective going forward. Overall, he has a record of 23 goals and 10 assists in 62 games for the north German side – a record to be proud of.
The 23-year-old is a versatile forward who can play anywhere across the attacking line-up – he has goals as a striker, a left winger and right winger so far this campaign. With 1.6 key passes and 2.2 dribbles per match, he is third and first respectively amongst his teammates at Werder in the Bundesliga, which illustrates his importance to their aspirations of top-tier survival.
Here’s what Bundesliga.com had to say about Rashica’s stylistic similarity with the current Inter Milan attacker.
“A one-man attacking force with pace to burn, the Bremen talisman has that self-same stocky build and low centre of gravity that made Sanchez such an overwhelming prospect for opposition defenders back in his Barcelona and Arsenal days.”
All of this has not gone unnoticed by clubs across Europe – Dortmund are said to be interested in the winger if Jadon Sancho departs.
It promises to be a big few months for Rashica before the summer.
Whilst Bremen are in serious trouble at the wrong end of the table, they are just five points off a potential relegation play-off spot against the third-placed side in the 2. Bundesliga. With the likes of Hertha Berlin, Paderborn, FC Koln, and Mainz 05 still to play – all of whom are towards the bottom of the division – there are plenty of chances to save themselves, and much will depend on the level of performance Rashica can bring to the table.
During that spell, he will also be required to help his nation qualify for an international tournament for the first time in their short history. In March, they will play North Macedonia in a play-off, with the winner facing either Belarus or Georgia for a place at Euro 2020. Once again, Rashica will have a big role to play.
Beyond that, who knows where he will end up. But, even with a struggling side, he has proven he can maintain his standards. Liverpool may have a talented forward line, but they could do a lot worse than bringing in Bremen’s star man.