Said Benrahma is reportedly up for grabs this summer. The Brentford star could offer Liverpool a solid alternative to Ismaila Sarr.
The Telegraph reports that West Ham United don’t want to pay £20m for Benrahma. So it is quite strange that we’re going to try and justify why the champions of England should – but we think there’s a solid case.
We first talked about Benrahma back in February. Reports linked Arsenal with the Brentford man back then and we thought Liverpool should get involved.
For one thing, he’s fantastically productive. Benrahma scored 17 goals in the Championship last season and set up another nine. He’s technically brilliant and translates it into end product. Is that not worth £20m?
Yes, he’s from the Championship but as we pointed out in February, there are several players proving that they can step up. Jack Grealish and James Maddison are two obvious examples.
Then there’s Neal Maupay. Maupay shone for Brentford alongside Benrahma before moving to Brighton at the start of last season. He finished his debut Premier League campaign with 10 goals – over a quarter of the Seagulls’ efforts.
So we can’t help but believe that Benrahma could make the step up, too. He’s not scoring goals in the Championship cheaply, after all – it’s not as though he’s a big physical presence that second-tier defenders can’t cope with. The Algerian is a technical threat and someone who creates out of nothing.
And at 25, he’s just entering his prime. Give him a couple of years under Jurgen Klopp and Benrahma could become a very useful squad player for a few years.
Importantly, he’s best from the left-wing. It’s the one position in the front-line where Liverpool don’t have natural cover and thus the most obvious area to sign someone.
He seems a better choice than another reported target, in that regard.
The Sarr conundrum
Ismaila Sarr could become a very good player. But that doesn’t make his reported £40m price anything short of a huge gamble.
His five goals and four assists last season suggest promise but far from a player for the here and now. Instead, we’d hope that Klopp can develop him into someone who can score and assist regularly over the next few years.
But right now, we simply don’t have the undoubted proof that he can do that. And that’s a real negative when you’re talking £40m.
There’s another catch, too – Sarr doesn’t play on the left. We suspect that Liverpool want him to play there, given the lack of cover, but he played exclusively on the right and centrally for Watford last year.
So not only would Liverpool need to develop his ability, but they’d need to teach him a new position, too.
Possible? Of course. But surely too much of a gamble at that price. Especially when Benrahma is reportedly available for half that.