by Zakari Turner (@Zak_1892)
A slight shadow hanging over Liverpool – as emphasised since the Premier League’s resumption – is the clear chasm in class existing between the first-choice front three and ‘the others’: the likes of Divock Origi or Takumi Minamino. So it comes as no surprise that the Reds are linked with a plethora of forward players (at a cut-price of course).
Milot Rashica has been one of the stand out links. Though the forward is seemingly destined to join RB Leipzig, he ticks all the boxes of what some may refer to as a typical ‘Michael Edwards signing’.
At 24-years-old, he boasts impressive stats with thirty-seven goal contributions over his last two seasons in all competitions.
In fact, it’s easy to draw comparisons with current wing pairing Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah. Indeed, the pair were signed at the age of twenty-four (Mane in 2016) and twenty-five (Salah in 2017) respectively. The former had produced twenty-four and twenty-one goal involvements in the two seasons prior to joining the Reds, whilst the latter – at a similar age – had produced fifteen and twenty-two G/A in his two seasons at Italian side Roma.
Is he a good fit?
But if Liverpool are to splurge money on the Kosovo international, Edwards, Klopp and co will have to be certain he’s an upgrade on what they’ve already got – i.e. Origi.
And whilst you’d struggle to find a Liverpool fan who doesn’t adore the Belgian, it’s becoming clearer, week by week, that Klopp’s men are nowhere near as effective or prolific when Origi plays in place of one of the front three for an extended period of time.
The inference, as per the stats, is this: Rashica fits the bill.
|Tackles/Interceptions per game||Key Passes per game||Dribbles per game|
Rashica almost matches Mane for dribbles per game, more than doubling Origi’s 0.7. While still a way off Mane’s defensive output – interceptions and tackles – he still represents a significant improvement on Origi’s contributions.
Rashica may well end up at the Red Bull Arena, but he fits the profile of a player which could significantly bolster an area of Klopp’s squad which is in need of freshening up.