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Comparing reported Liverpool targets Vlahovic and Malen

Liverpool need to sign a striker this summer. Dusan Vlahovic and Donyell Malen look to be the two names at the top of their shortlist.

Both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino had down seasons in 2020/21. While they could bounce back next term, it is not guaranteed.

Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Takumi Minamino all look likely to leave this summer. The Reds clearly need to sign some attacking talent.

Many fans want to see them sign an out-and-out striker rather than an inverted forward.

Vlahovic and Malen are possibly the two best options around.

Inside Futbol report that Liverpool held talks with Vlahovic back in May.

Meanwhile, Voetbal International claim that the Reds are leading the race to sign Malen.

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Here, RTK will have a look at each players’ numbers from last season and decide which one Liverpool should sign.

Vlahovic and Malen different profiles but equally impressive

Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

This battle is almost like the cheap Haaland vs the cheap Mbappe.

Vlahovic is a tall, clinical, out-and-out No 9, while Malen is a smaller, quicker striker who can also play out wide.

Firstly, we will look at goals.

The Serbian scored 21 in 37 Serie A games. The Dutchman scored 19 in 32 in the Eredivisie. So Vlahovic scored at a rate of 0.65 goals per 90, while Malen’s rate was 0.70.

Malen’s xG was an incredibly impressive 19.27, while Vlahovic’s was an excellent 18.4. So Malen underperformed and Vlahovic overperformed.

Yet both of them put up great numbers so both should sustain their rate and improve.

The PSV man had a higher xG as he was a more persistent shooter. He took 4.08 shots per 90 compared to Vlahovic’s 4.08.

Malen is the more creative of the pair, with eight assists to Vlahovic’s three.

Malen also made 1.1 key passes per game. Vlahovic made just 0.5.

The Holland striker also came out on top for passes per game and pass success rate. He is the more prominent dribbler too.

It is fair to say that he is the better of the duo in build-up play.

So Donyell Malen comes out on top in terms of numbers. However, Dusan Vlahovic is playing in a more difficult league, so it is hard to come to a definite conclusion.

We here at RTK would probably go for Malen as he would probably be cheaper, but Vlahovic would probably be a big success if he signed for the Reds too.

One thing for sure is that both youngsters are incredibly talented. They will undoubtedly be big stars of the future.

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