Liverpool have recently been tied to audacious claims on the transfer front that Juventus‘ Federico Chiesa is of interest to the club, and could replace the struggling Mohamed Salah.
What’s the word?
According to Italian outlet Calciomercatoweb.it, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is considering an unforeseen transfer for the club’s offensive stalwart in Salah, and could move for the Old Lady’s Chiesa, who is valued at €60m (£53m) to replace their prolific focal point.
The report continues to state that while Liverpool could part with the Egpytian, who signed a new contract last year, he would command a high fee and Liverpool would maintain to hold all the cards in a prospective deal.
Speaking to Football FanCast to give his thoughts on the situation, transfer insider Pete O’Rourke remarked on the interest, stating that Chiesa would indeed be a player on Klopp’s radar, should an apt opportunity arise.
He said: “I’m sure he’s a player that Liverpool do admire and like, but I don’t think anything’s going to happen this month. Maybe in the summer, they might look at it to see if they can bring Chiesa in to improve their attacking options as well.”
Is it time to ditch Salah?
Salah has been nothing short of sensational for Liverpool since arriving in a £34m deal from AS Roma in 2017, but the 30-year-old has been at the epicentre of the recent strife following a notable downswing in form and fluidity.
While the Egyptian gem has 17 goals and registered six assists from 29 appearances across all competitions this season, only seven have come in the Premier League – where he has formed the bulk of his playing time – and his lapse in form has been a factor behind the spluttering season on Merseyside.
As per Sofascore, the £350k-per-week star’s average rating of 6.93 is the lowest across six terms since his arrival at Anfield, and the first time his rating has dropped lower than 7.14 (20/21).
And with his 3.3 shots per match in the Champions League and 3.2 shots per game in the English top-flight still among the highest average output of his career, there should be far greater success from the direct offensive, albeit with a flagging midfield deployed behind him.
So, should Liverpool decide that their iconic forward has run himself past his high-octane, pinpoint best, the more youthful Chiesa could indeed be an avenue to delve down.
One year ago, the Italian ace suffered a detrimental injury blow to rule him out of contention for ten months, missing a seismic chunk of football, and he has softly reintegrated into the Juve outfit this term, scoring one goal and providing two assists from just one solitary start across all competitions.
And while the 40-cap phenom’s progress has been blighted by setbacks over the past couple of years, in 20/21 – this last fully fit campaign – the young Chiesa announced himself as a major player on the European scene by plundering 15 goals and 11 assists during his debut year with Juventus – with a goal and assist apiece coming for Fiorentina in the maiden phase of the term.
And with his integral role in Italy’s 2020 European Championship triumph (hosted in 2021 due to the pandemic) leaving him with an average rating of 7.06 and scoring two goals, the “unreal” gem – as hailed by 90min’s Jack Gallagher – that is Chiesa will be in good stead to continue his career development with the Reds.
Valued at just €20m (£18m) by CIES Football Observatory, Chiesa could be the catalyst for a new era, and while ditching Salah from contention entirely would be as bold a move as any manager has made across recent times, Klopp could have the perfect heir on his hands with a successful bid.
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