Pote could be the Roberto Firmino replacement that Liverpool desperately need. He wouldn’t come cheap, however.
Record report that Liverpool have asked about Sporting’s Pote. The 22-year-old is lighting up Liga NOS this season.
And that’s no exaggeration – Pote has 12 goals in 13 games, leading the scoring charts by five. This is his first season with Sporting, too.
They signed him as a direct replacement for Bruno Fernandes, with Pote taking up that role behind the striker. And the fact he’s not and out-and-out forward really highlights just how special those goalscoring figures are.
It also means he could be exactly what Liverpool dream of.
Replacing the irreplaceable
Roberto Firmino is about as irreplaceable as it gets at Liverpool. The side effectively revolves around him.
He plays the False 9 role, dropping deep to create space for the wingers to run into. His link-up play with the midfield means the Reds don’t need to play with an attacking midfielder, too.
That means Liverpool line-up with a work-horse midfield. They use players who cover the full-backs as they run into the wide positions.
Wide positions vacated because the wingers are in the space Firmino created.
Take the Brazilian out and it all falls apart. The big problem, then, is that Firmino won’t last forever but they might have to change the playing style once he’s gone.
He’s pushing 30, in fact, and Liverpool have to replace him soon. But how do they find a natural replacement? They created Firmino, essentially.
He was a no.10 who Jurgen Klopp deployed as a striker. They’ve moulded him into a player who can lead the line, utilising his traits from attacking midifield. Firmino is about as ‘False 9’ as it gets.
But Liverpool did that because you can’t easily find those players. Pote, though, could be one.
He’s an attacking midfielder who can threaten like a striker. Isn’t that largely what Liverpool need? It certainly sounds like a player they could mould, much like they did with Firmino.
Pote is well-rounded, too. He creates the 5th-most chances in Liga NOS on top of his goals. Work some pressing in there, throw in some link-up play and you’ve got Firmino’s heir.
Record say Pote would cost around £53m. That’s an awful lot for a player with one good season.
But the Portuguese talent might be the rare find Liverpool need as they look to replace their Brazilian lynchpin.