Opinion: 23-year-old took just 9 minutes to show why Liverpool should move


Renato Sanches took 9 Euros minutes to show why Liverpool should move

Renato Sanches only played nine minutes at the Euros in Portugal’s opener. He still managed to show why Liverpool should move for him.

It remains to be seen if Sanches stars at the Euros this summer. He didn’t start Portugal’s opener against Hungary, playing just nine minutes at the end.

It’s a little surprising, given his season with Lille. Sanches played a key role as the underdogs won Ligue 1, somehow brushing Paris Saint-Germain aside.

That helped put Sanches back on the map after a difficult few years. His time with Bayern Munich didn’t work out, while the less said about his Swansea City loan the better.

What made Lille’s success even greater, though, was their financial situation. Things got so bad that their owner stepped away in December and they’re still not exactly flush with cash.

Combine the win and the financial struggles and what do you get? Transfer rumours, of course.

And that’s why we got talk of Liverpool wanting Sanches earlier in the year. CalcioMercato said he’s ‘destined’ for the Reds, while Fabrizio Romano also believes the 23-year-old is a key target.

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And judging by that Euros opener, we believe he should be.

Renato Sanches at the Euros

Okay, yes – it was only a nine-minute cameo. Still, those nine minutes showed off what Sanches is capable of in a big game.

After all, when Sanches entered the game, Portugal were still 0-0 in a must-win game. But he certainly had an effect on the eventual 3-0 result.

There’s a simple standout stat, for instance, as Sanches won two tackles in nine minutes. Those were the only two tackles he attempted and he wasn’t dribbled past once.

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

But the real moment of the match was his dribble for the penalty. Sanches picked up the ball well in his own half but just bulldozed his way through Hungary.

We’re not sure how many he went past in the end but it was enough to get him close to the Hungary goal and able to pick out Rafa Silva. Silva was then fouled and Portugal had a penalty to wrap the game up.

And this is what Sanches could bring to Liverpool. He’s a magnificently physical player with energy and drive. He can do the defensive work, get the team moving forward, and make things happen in a big game.

We don’t know how much Lille would want but if it’s a halfway decent fee, Liverpool should move. Sanches is such an exciting talent and at 23, he’s got a ways to go.

Jurgen Klopp could work wonders with this one.

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