According to reports, Liverpool have sent representatives to Spain to scout Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams ahead of a potential transfer this summer.
When Sadio Mané left the United Kingdom to join his Senegal teammates for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, it had a detrimental effect on Liverpool’s attack. With Philippe Coutinho already missing due to an ankle injury, there was very little creativity and pace in Jürgen Klopp’s front line.
This season, Mané has scored 12 goals and provided five assists in 24 Premier League games. Considering there were many supporters who were unhappy with Liverpool spending £36 million on Mané, he has turned out reasonably well, I’d say.
When he has been absent, especially against teams like Burnley that like to defend deep in their own half, Liverpool have suffered for their lack of pace. His speed on the ball and ability to change direction in a heartbeat has allowed Liverpool to break teams down when they would have otherwise struggled.
It’s this lack of pace in Liverpool’s team which makes it imperative that Klopp brings in another winger this summer capable of speeding past fullbacks. According to Calcio Mercato, Inaki Williams could be that player with Liverpool reportedly sending scouts to watch the winger.
There is very little chance of this happening as Athletic Bilbao have slapped a £50 million price tag onto their prized asset.
Williams is thriving in Spain and has had some standout performances including against Barcelona at their San Mames stadium. He scored a stunning volley to help the hosts on their way to victory over Barca in the Copa Del Rey.
The issue here would not be the quality of Williams, who is undoubtedly a player with a bright future, but his price tag. It’s difficult to envision Fenway Sports Group sanctioning a £50 million bid for a relatively unproven 22-year-old let alone a world class 28-year-old.