Reports suggest Liverpool could make a move for RB Salzburg defender Max Wober. The Reds have reason to think hard on this one, however.
This comes from Eurosport. They fall short of naming Max Wober as a full-on Liverpool target but suggest he’s a player the Reds could move for this month.
Wober has led an interesting career to date. He moved to Ajax at 19 but left for Sevilla just 18 months later.
Six months after that he left again to join RB Salzburg. And that’s the notable thing here. Liverpool have a player from RB Salzburg, after all.
Technically, they have three. Both Sadio Mane and Naby Keita played there but Takumi Minamino is someone they signed directly from the Austrians a year ago.
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They paid £7.25m for the Japan international, taking advantage of a release clause. And it’s safe to say that Minamino hasn’t quite clicked.
Salzburg to Liverpool is quite a step up. Minamino was performing well in the Champions League but jumping from playing the majority of your games in the Austrian Bundesliga to the Premier League is a leap.
And we’ve seen that. Minamino has never had a run of games and we’re still waiting for him to click with the rest of the team.
Right now, in fact, you’d struggle to name his position in the team.
So it’s worth considering this when looking at Wober. That’s not to say that he can’t be a success – or Minamino, for that matter – but the struggles do suggest he wouldn’t make a quick impact.
And that’s essentially priority one for any defensive signing in this window. You’d need them to influence the rest of the season or there’s no point in entering the market.
But we haven’t seen an ability to do that from the only other Salzburg example we have at the club. An example who also joined in a January window.
You can look elsewhere at success from Salzburg, of course. There’s Erling Haaland but we’d argue he’s a special case.
Then there’s Hee-Chan Hwang. The Korean also shone for Salzburg last season and earned himself a move to RB Leipzig.
But he’s struggled badly to step up in Germany. Hwang hasn’t started a single game this season, playing under 110 minutes in the Bundesliga.
Again, it suggests that the step up is a huge one. That doesn’t mix with the idea of getting a player for the here and now.
If we were Liverpool, we’d think twice about moving for Wober this month.