Despite numerous impressive performances, Dodi Lukebakio was arguably the man of the match in yesterday’s pre-season friendly between Liverpool and Hertha Berlin.
The two sides played out an entertaining 4-3 thriller, which the German side edged.
The scoreline is not all that important, although Jurgen Klopp will not be thrilled with the conceding of four goals. It was all about getting an intense game into the legs, which the Reds certainly did.
While much of the Liverpool focus will be on Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez’s returns, some may have had their eye caught by Hertha winger Lukebakio.
Lukebakio picked up two quality assists
Lukebakio got two assists during his 68 minutes on the pitch.
The first was a nice sharp pass into the feet of Suat Serdar, who had made a run into the box.
The midfielder touched it into the air, but recovered with a thunderous half-volley from a narrow angle into the inside of the net.
Lukebakio’s second assist came in the 66th minute and it was a thing of beauty.
The Belgian received a pass with his back to goal out wide, with Rhys Williams right on his tail. He touched it out near the sideline, where he was met by Andy Robertson.
Lukebakio went one way and then the other, when he looked to be inches from running the ball over the sideline, and evaded Robertson’s pressure.
He got the ball out of his feet and played a lovely left-footed cross into the box, where Steven Jovetic was waiting to nod home.
It was truly incredible work by Lukebakio, who made bits of the Liverpool defenders and delivered a top-quality cross.
He had some sloppy moments, as you expect in pre-season. Yet he was generally very impressive while he was on the pitch.
He caught our eye, which means that he could also have earned Jurgen Klopp’s attention.
Could Lukebakio sign for Liverpool?
It was not just this game that has us talking about Dodi Lukebakio. Those who keep an eye on underlying numbers will have known about the 23-year-old for some time now.
Lukebakio was actually a Watford player for a period, having joined in January 2018.
He only played once for the Hornets though and was loaned out to Fortuna Dusseldorf for 2018/19.
Here, he scored 10 goals and got three assists despite being just 20-years-old when the season began.
Hertha signed him for £20m off the back of this.
In 2019/20, Lukebakio scored seven goals and got six assists, while last season it was five of each. However, his xG stats suggest that these numbers should have been higher.
Still just 23 and with excellent underlying stats, he could well be a player that will interest numbers guru Michael Edwards.
However, they will have to move quickly as Rudy Galetti has reported that Lille are in talks to sign him.
If anything, this should encourage Liverpool, as Lille are one of the best stepping-stone clubs around. If they want him, it is because he is a good player with great potential.
Said to be available for just €15m (£12.7m) and capable of playing anywhere across the front line, Lukebakio could be a very sensible pick up for Liverpool.