While the links to Monaco wonder-kid Kylian Mbappé are nice to read, Jack Hallows believes the Reds should be targeting Alexandre Lacazette instead.
Kylian Mbappé Lottin? Really?
Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of the Monaco striker and absolutely loved watching him in action over the course of the 2016/17 season. The 18-year old seemingly just went from strength to strength, scoring goal after goal and improving with unbelievable regularity every time I watched him play.
He’s fast, possesses surprisingly impressive physical attributes for his stature, already has Champions League and league title winning experience and can score with both feet and his head.
However, seeing him linked with Liverpool over recent days is nothing short of puzzling to me. Klopp is said to have tracked the striker’s progress for “over a year now,” and contacted his representatives to hold “preliminary talks.”
Surely though, a player obsessed with winning the Champions League and linked with a staggering £100m+ move to Real Madrid wouldn’t even bat an eyelid in Liverpool’s direction? So why are we quite frankly, wasting our time? Especially when there’s a cheaper, already world-class alternative available.
The alternative in question is none other than Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette is seemingly linked with a move to the Premier League every summer transfer window and it truly begs the question, why has nobody snapped him up yet? The Frenchman has had a £60m price tag slapped on his head by Lyon’s club president in recent days which, in comparison to the valuations of players such as Kylian Mbappé (£100m+), Alvaro Morata (£70m), Andrea Belotti (£88m) and Romelu Lukaku (£90m) surely must represent a bargain.
If Klopp truly was willing to shell out a figure of that extreme for a player who, while undoubtedly possessing the potential to be world class, is still just that – potential – then why are we ignoring a player who would cost almost half the price, scored nearly double the goals and has been doing so consistently for years?
It would be unfair to undertake a direct comparison between Lacazette and Mbappé, due to the fact that the latter featured heavily off the bench in the first months of the season and hasn’t played the same amount of league minutes as his countryman. However, the numbers per 90 do allow for a slightly less skewed viewpoint.
In the Ligue 1 this season, Mbappé managed an impressive 15 strikes from 29 appearances which works out about 0.89 per 90 minutes, while also creating 1.84 chances per block of 90. Lacazette, on the other hand, managed a ridiculous 27 league goals, finishing with an incredible ratio of 0.9 goals per appearance – 1.03 per 90 – while also managing to create 1.75 chances per 90. To say the 26-year old is a deadly finisher would be an understatement on this evidence.
Then there are the bits that stats can’t tell you.
Lacazette is an incredibly similar player to Mbappé, standing at just 3cm shorter while possessing just as much raw pace, physicality and skill as his younger international team mate. At 26 years of age, there’s also the added bonus of better game awareness, experience and having spent more time at the top level.
The striker has also been voicing his belief that he’s ready for a move away from France and with his proposed switch to Atletico Madrid having fallen through, he’d surely be more than open to a Champions League club that plays exciting attacking football. So I’ll repeat, why are we not picking this guy up?
I don’t know how much truth there is to Klopp’s supposed contact with Mbappé’s representatives and if it is indeed true, how much of it was down to curiosity rather than intention. Either way, if Klopp really is looking to add a marquee name to Liverpool’s striker ranks, then surely it has got to be Alexandre Lacazette instead.