Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Ousmane Dembele is exactly what Liverpool are looking for this January

Ousmane Dembele feels like the right move for Liverpool in January. The Frenchman is nearly out of contract with Barcelona.

Liverpool supposedly want a winger in January and it’s easy to see why. Fabrizio Romano laid it this week.

“Liverpool are looking for wingers because in January they’ll be losing [Mohamed] Salah & [Sadio] Mané,” Romano told his Here We Go podcast.

“No panic buys – only if they have a good opportunity they’ll do it.”

So the Reds want cover for AFCON, essentially. Their two most dangerous forwards will disappear over the winter – potentially for some time.

But it’s not straightforward. Liverpool can’t afford to ‘panic buy’ as Romano puts it. They’re not going to sign someone for the sake of it and will want a long-term target.

On top of that, they need someone good enough to play a significant role but with a small enough reputation to bow out of the side when Salah & Mane return.

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And, of course, any signing must be cost-effective. Liverpool want value for their money here.

So with all of that in mind, we think there’s a real case for Liverpool to pursue Ousmane Dembele.

Should Liverpool chase Ousmane Dembele in January?

Dembele is one of the most interesting players on the planet right now. His upside is clear as anyone who’s even seen the Frenchman knows he’s an incredible talent.

After all, Barcelona paid over £135m to sign him from Borussia Dortmund.

But he’s injured. Pretty much constantly. That’s severely hampered his development and while Dembele is 24, he still plays a lot like a 21-year-old.

Then there’s the kicker – he’s out of contract in the summer. Reports, per Sport, indicate that Barcelona are struggling to find a new agreement, too.

The less likely they are to find that agreement, the more it makes sense to sell in January. They’d get a fraction of his value but at least it’s something.

Photo by Andrey Lukatsky/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Dembele is definitely available, then, and could be exactly what Liverpool are after. Here’s a player with enormous room for development, who’s two-footed enough to cover both wings, and ticks that reputation box.

Dembele could cover the wings immediately but wouldn’t expect to be a starting XI player once Salah and Mane return. At 24, though, he should be well-placed as a long-term replacement. Liverpool don’t need Dembele to be a superstar right now.

We don’t think it’s any great shock that the likes of Cuatro and Sport say Liverpool have interest here. As cost-effective January cover and a long-term development project, they don’t really come better than Dembele.

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