Liverpool have been hugely impressed by Schalke striker Matthew Hoppe this season and are considering making a move, according to reports.
This comes from 90Min. They say that club scouts have been placed in the Bundesliga and they have been ‘hugely impressed’ by what they have seen from the United States-born forward.
Who is he?
Hoppe, 19, has clocked up 11 appearances in the German top-flight this term, scoring five goals, including a stunning hat-trick against Hoffenheim last month.
According to the report, Liverpool won’t be alone in their pursuit of the teenage talent, with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur also expressing an interest in Hoppe.
The Reds currently have a working relationship with Schalke following the acquisition of Ozan Kabak on loan until the end of the season.
A loan-to-buy clause was inserted into the 20-year-old’s deal following his deadline-day arrival from the Bundesliga. Kabak has so far featured just once for Liverpool since making the switch to Merseyside.
Does a move make sense?
Well, given his relatively rapid rise to prominence, it’s hard to gauge just how good the American striker is.
He is representing the worst team in the Bundesliga this season, after all. In fact, Hoppe has scored a third of Schalke’s league goals this season.
His heroics against Hoffenheim, where he became the first American to score a hat-trick in the Bundesliga, represent the only win Schalke have been able to register so far this term.
Hoppe has a contract with the German outfit until 2023.
“Everything changed so fast probably in the span of a month-and-a-half, two months,” Hoppe told the Bundesliga’s official website this week. “There have been some moments where I’ve been able to take a step back and look at what’s happened. Yeah, it is crazy. Like, my dream is coming true and so it’s been special for me.”
Both City and Liverpool are expected to freshen up their attacks in the summer.
Pep Guardiola has heavily relied on Sergio Aguero for many years now, and the Argentine’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, leaving just Gabriel Jesus as the team’s only recognised striker.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s pedigreed front-three are currently in its fourth season since its origin back in 2017.
With that said, it makes sense for Jurgen Klopp to bring in additional forward cover to ease the strain on the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Indeed, it’s fair to assume that this doesn’t inspire the same sense of optimism in contrast to reports linking Liverpool with a move for Erling Haaland
Still, Hoppe has showcased he is at least a player worth keeping an eye on. Liverpool have an act from transforming players from struggling teams, after al.