Liverpool have started negotiating for midfielder Boubakary Soumare, according to reports, a player Jurgen Klopp ‘loves’.
Sport makes the claim. The Spanish outlet believes that Liverpool have been in talks for the player, with a view to a summer move.
There’s an easy explanation, too – Jurgen Klopp is apparently ‘in love’ with Soumare. So, naturally, he wants him as a part of his squad for next season.
Sport says that, certainly last January, Lille value Soumare at around £35m – a decent figure, depending on how Liverpool would want to use him. They’ll face competition from Real Madrid, apparently, and you’d think both teams could meet the asking price.
What RTK has to say
If Klopp truly does ‘love’ Soumare and wants him, then £35m is a great price and one well worth paying. It’s around the same price as Mohamed Salah (£34m), Sadio Mane (£34m), and Fabinho (£39m), for instance, and all are now worth far more.
But this one certainly comes with some warning signs. Firstly, there’s his late-season form.
Soumare started most games for Lille this season but all came before February. His last start came on the 26th of January in a 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
Then came a stretch of six games where Soumare didn’t play at all, sitting on the bench for five of them and not making this squad to face Marseilles. He finally broke that streak on the 8th of March against Lyon, but he only played seven minutes.
That’s not good. Any player Liverpool sign – and certainly one they pay a considerable amount for – should be a regular in their team.
Still, if Klopp sees past that, Soumare is well worth signing. You can’t help but think that another French defensive midfielder should be the true target, though. Eduardo Camavinga is a few years younger and tops Ligue 1 in tackling.
Liverpool reportedly want him and he’s a fantastically exciting prospect. But Klopp’s decision would trump that. If the boss sees Soumare as the target then he’s more than earned the trust to make it happen.