Liverpool appear to be quite obsessed with players out of Red Bull. Yet another report links the Reds with a player from that system.
Red Bull are a strange entity in football. They own several football clubs and regularly trade players between them all.
It’s successful, to their credit. RB Salzburg dominate Austrian football, while RB Leipzig have become a powerhouse in the German Bundesliga.
Then there’s RB New York and RB Brasil. They haven’t quite had the same impact on global football but are notable in their own right.
They keep the same philosophy and ideas throughout their clubs and, clearly, it works. On top of that, Liverpool seem to love it.
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In fact, we think Liverpool may be a little obsessed with Red Bull players despite a string of struggles.
The Independent claims Liverpool wanted Duje Caleta-Car from Marseille in January. They were willing to pay £20m, too, but ran out of time.
It’s interesting that they were quite so sold on him but then, he’s another player from the Red Bull system. Caleta-Car won four Bundesliga titles and three cups with RB Salzburg before moving to France.
He apparently isn’t the only RB defender Liverpool like, either. BILD claim the Reds want RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.
But wait! There’s more. The Mirror say that Liverpool contacted RB Leipzig before the window closed to express their firm interest in Ibrahima Konate.
And this all happens on the day that Liverpool sent Takumi Minamino to Southampton on loan. A player they signed from RB Salzburg.
But Minamino isn’t alone at Liverpool as an ex-Red Bull player. Naby Keita came straight from RB Leipzig.
And if Liverpool had their way, they’d have signed Timo Werner from RB Leipzig in the summer. Unfortunately, they couldn’t justify the fee.
What really stands out to us is that neither Minamino or Keita have succeeded at Liverpool up to now. There’s a reason the former is off on loan, after all.
Werner is even struggling at Chelsea after his big-money move. Would he have fared better at Anfield? We’ll never really know but the evidence suggests ‘no’. Red Bull players aren’t transitioning to the Premier League.
So why are Liverpool quite so obsessed? Because there’s an exception, of course. There’s one other Red who came through the system – Sadio Mane.
He is far and away the most successful ex-Red Bull player, though Erling Haaland will fancy his chances of overtaking him one day.
But Mane has been such a success and so perfect for Liverpool that we wonder if he’s become a prototype of sorts. He was ready-made in terms of style and that really may be the answer here.
Bucking the trend
Despite the failures in recent years of signing straight from Red Bull, we do hope Liverpool get involved for some others to come through the system.
Upamecano feels like the best-value defender around right now, for one. While Haaland is a superstar and Liverpool should be involved.
So we won’t say Liverpool should avoid ex-Red Bull players. But perhaps have a little more caution.