Amongst young strikers plying their trade in Europe, there is no brighter crop than Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala, and Luciano Vietto, the trio of Argentines. All are 21 years of age or younger, all are starting every week, and all have the potential to become world class. All three were also linked with Liverpool moves leading up to the January transfer window.
In the end, none of the rumours amounted to much of anything, but when Spanish outlet AS spoke to Vietto following Villarreal’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid this weekend, they wanted to know what the young striker thought of all the rumours linking him with a £12-15M move to Liverpool or Juventus. Vietto, for his part, certainly won’t have done anything to dampen them.
"They’re great teams," said the 20-year-old rising star, who has notched 18 goals—scoring once every 120 minutes he’s on the pitch—and eight assists for Villarreal across all competitions this season. "If they come forward and make an offer, we’ll have to see. The offer would first off have to be very good, but if so, such a move could be very good for me as well as very good for Villarreal."
Both Liverpool and Juventus were rumoured to be interested in Vietto last summer. At the time, the youngster was busy leading the line for Racing Club in Argentina, and there were some question marks as to how quickly he could adjust to the European game. In the end, Villarreal took the gamble that it could, paying €5.5M to bring the striker to Spain, where he has flourished.
It's largely down to Vietto's pace, movement, workrate, and finishing ability that the Yellow Submarine sit a comfortable sixth in La Liga, with a Europa League place in sight. And now that he’s proven he can play in Europe, his positional flexibility and at times feisty playing style would seem to make him a perfect fit for Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side.
Of course, whether there’s actually any real interest there on Liverpool’s part at this stage remains an open question. Chances are, though, that Vietto won’t be at Villarreal for much longer, and for the right price he and the club would likely be open to him moving on in the summer.