According to reports from The Times, Liverpool had as many as four attacking options to sign earlier this summer before opting to make a move for the £41 million Diogo Jota.
Jota, 23, has been exceptional for the Premier League champions since joining the club from Wolverhampton Wanderers. He has already clocked up seven goals in his opening 10 Liverpool appearances – only five of them starts.
Such inspired form from the Portugal international has even led to suggestions that Jota should become a regular starter in the club’s pedigreed front-three, taking the place of Roberto Firmino.
However, it could have been very different for Liverpool with Timo Werner, Ismaila Sarr and Jonathan David reportedly touted as alternate options.
David, 20, wanted regular first-team football and decided to join Lille, where a direct route into the starting XI was clear following the sale £73 million [BBC Sport] of Victor Osimhen to Napoli. Although he has found life difficult in Ligue 1, yet to score in 12 appearances.
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Werner, who was persistently linked with a switch to Liverpool, opted for a move to Chelsea after the Reds failed to materialise their interest into anything concrete effectively leaving them with just two attacking options: Jota and Sarr.
The process continued with extensive research into both players although the prospect of signing Sarr hinged on Watford’s asking-price. The Hornets indicated it would take a fee of £40 million, of which £20 million would be paid up-front, plus add-ons before a sale could be sanctioned.
Meanwhile, Wolves reportedly had been in a direct line of contact with Liverpool in regards to the availability of young talents such as Rhian Brewster, Neco Williams and Ki-Jana Hoever, the latter of whom the Reds were prepared to use as leverage for Jota.
Sporting director Michael Edwards broke down the numbers and it was decided that Jota came out on top and Liverpool view his arrival, and the departure of Hoever, as a net transfer spend of just £32 million.
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Wolves will have initially been more than pleased with their decision to cash in their chips for a player they paid just 14 million euros (£12.3million) for back in 2018.
However, the Midlands outfit will no doubt have been left with a sinking feeling having witnessed their former player hit the ground running so quickly at the home of the Premier League champions.
By the time his hat-trick was sealed in the Champions League, Wolves will have looked at that £41 million fee and felt a sense of being swindled by the meticulous financial mind that is Michael Edwards.
Liverpool could count themselves fortunate that Osimhen’s departure from Napoli had a knock-on effect in the Reds missing out on David, who it’s safe to say would have been a significant downgrade on Jota.
We are only weeks into his Anfield tenure and already his once eye-watering price-tag is beginning to look like a financial masterstroke.
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