Amine Gouiri is really making a name for himself in Ligue 1. The 21-year-old should be a serious Liverpool transfer target.
Liverpool have a real problem coming up and they’ll see the real face of it over the next few weeks. It’s Roberto Firmino, to put it bluntly.
The Brazilian is a massively important player for the Reds and, unfortunately, very unique. As he gets older, it’s becoming more and more clear that replacing him will be near impossible.
But it’ll have to happen someday. Liverpool need to find a player who can press, create chances for teammates, score some goals, and do it all consistently.
Very, very few players tick those boxes. One of them, however, could be 21-year-old Amine Gouiri. He’s currently playing for Nice in Ligue 1 and we think Liverpool should seriously consider the Frenchman.
As we say, Firmino has many wonderful traits and his long-term replacement needs to tick the right boxes.
Take pressing, for instance. Firmino presses around nine times per 90 in the attacking third. That is an incredible rate that nearly no other elite forward matches. The fact he also presses that often in the middle third is just insane.
Gouiri, unsurprisingly, doesn’t match those numbers. He’s currently at 6.95 per 90 in the final third and 6.61 in midfield. What’s promising, though, is that both numbers are way up this season on last year.
It suggests he is improving and pressing well. It’s also worth considering that while Nice are a high-pressing side, they don’t quite match Liverpool’s numbers in the attacking third.
So while Gouiri can’t match Firmio’s pressing, there’s a suggestion that he can improve to a high level. And that’s really the only question here.
The rest of Gouiri’s numbers are pretty fantastic. He moves forward with the ball at a better rate than Firmino, dribbles in the final third more and the penalty area.
And that’s no slight on Firmino – Gouiri is just very promising.
The 21-year-old scores goals, too. He had eight non-penalty goals last season (12 with spot-kicks) and has another four this season (six with penalties).
Gouiri assists on top of that – seven last season and four already in this campaign.
In fact, he makes things happen at a magnificent rate. Gouiri performs an average of 5.78 shot-creating-actions per 90 this season. These are actions that eventually lead to his team having a shot – maybe it’s a dribble and pass to someone else. Maybe it’s the pass to someone who then sets up a chance. It could also just be Gouiri having a shot.
That number is very, very high. In fact, only Dimitri Payet (7.2) and Neymar (6) beat it in Ligue 1 this season.
Again, it’s a sign that Gouiri could be the right transfer for Liverpool down the line. He’s ticking nearly every box right now and he’s still so, so young. With the Reds’ coaching behind him, Gouiri could become a superstar.
And that might make him the right choice to replace Firmino.