Paulo Dybala may be available this summer, according to reports. This is a risk worth Liverpool taking.
Cut-price deal, then?
Now, he’d still command decent wages – Dybala is on £225k-a-week – but that might be offset by a discounted fee. With any luck, anyway.
Liverpool are reportedly aware of the situation, too, according to a 90min article from December.
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The question is, would this make sense for Liverpool? We think it would.
We’ll start with the cons, here, and there are two.
Firstly, Dybala’s injury record. He’s actually injured right now, missing 12 games so far. And the Argentine usually picks up at least one injury per season, usually more.
At a time when Liverpool struggle with their injury crisis, this does sound like a strange idea. That’s the risk. It only makes sense if the club can manage his fitness.
Then the other issue – his form. Dybala hasn’t actually been that good over the last two years. He did get 11 goals and six assists in Serie A over the 19/20 season, but that’s not his best.
The year before was far worse – five goals and four assists. Not exactly anything to get excited about.
So this is the second part of the risk. Is this a blip? His form did dip the moment Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus and there might be something in that. If Liverpool believe the talent is there, we can ignore the recent form.
And now the fun stuff.
Dybala at his best is a fantastic player. We’ll put his records over his three best seasons below:
15/16 – 19 goals, 9 assists
16/17 – 11 goals, 7 assists
17/18 – 22 goals, 5 assists
What we really love, though, is that Dybala did this from two positions: attacking midfield and centre-forward. He’s capable of thriving in both roles and that’s a rare talent.
It also happens to be exactly what Liverpool need. Roberto Firmino plays the ‘False 9’ position, which is essentially playing in the space of both a no.9 and a no.10.
Dybala, then, naturally does that and he can provide bucket loads of goals and assists while doing it.
No, he won’t press like Firmino but Liverpool will need to accept that any Firmino-replacement costs you something. The Brazilian is too unique to replace without a cost.
But where Dybala would lack the energy and pressing, he’d add goals, assists and a set-piece threat.
As Liverpool struggle for creativity and goals from their False 9, we think Dybala could be the gamble they need right now. He’d be available for under his value, given the contract, and could rejuvenate the attack.
He’d play in exactly the same space as Firmino, meaning no disruption to anyone else, but bring more incision. That, to us, is worth the risk.