Liverpool could move for Lucas Ocampos, according to reports. We think this is one the Reds should ignore, however.
Argentine outlet El Intransigente claimed this week that Liverpool could go for Lucas Ocampos. In fact, the player supposedly wants a move.
He’d be pricey, though – they mention £55m as a potential price.
The question is, then, should Liverpool move for him? In our minds, no.
Risk not worth taking
£55m is an awful lot of money. Especially in these current times of no fans and unclear futures.
So if you’re going to spend that, you better be sure of what you’re getting. We’re not sure Ocampos offers any guarantee.
Ocampos scored 14 goals for Sevilla last season – clearly, a great haul. He added three assists to that, too. This season has seen a drop with four goals and four assists so far.
His xG stats were around 0.38 for expected goals per game and 0.12 for assists last season. Neither are standout figures.
Mohamed Salah, for instance, is currently having his least productive season for Liverpool with xG. His expected goals per game is 0.59, though, while he manages 0.17 for assists.
Again, this is in a season where things aren’t always going well for Salah. Last season, those numbers were 0.64 for goals and 0.27 for assists.
Ocampos, then, is well short of Salah’s level. The Argentine can play from the left, though, and maybe that’s the plan.
Sadio Mane is currently at 0.44 for expected goals and 0.22 for assists. This is once again in his worst season, however.
How about Diogo Jota? 0.46 and 0.1 the season before joining Liverpool. Since joining the Reds, that former figure is roughly the same but his latter is now 0.26.
It is possible to see a quick jump in the figures, then, and perhaps the same would happen with Ocampos. But here’s our problem – Ocampos would be 27 by the time he plays for Liverpool.
Jota turned 24 in December. Liverpool signed him with plenty of time to help him reach his huge potential. They also paid well under £55m.
For £55m, Liverpool would be getting a player right in the middle of his prime, with little room for growth. That’s okay if you’re signing a superstar like Thiago but far less okay when you need that player to improve.
Perhaps it would be worth the risk of Ocampos had shown another jump this season. Last season saw that – he’d never scored more than nine in a campaign but managed 14.
The opposite has happened, though, and Ocampos is producing less. That suggests he’s not a player who is exploding in his prime.
We’re not saying Ocampos isn’t a good player. We are saying that he’d be incredibly risky at £55m.
It might be worth it if Liverpool immediately improved him. But if they didn’t, they’ve signed a player who is plainly not as good as their current options for a huge chunk of the budget.