It’s officially summer and you know what that means: more unfounded transfer rumors! This time, the rumor comes by way of our favorite Bagges, West Bromwich Albion. Young central midfielder Rekeem Harper is out of contract and is, of course, being linked with Liverpool.
The reports that have come out place Liverpool in a rather crowded field of suitors for the creative attacker’s services, including the likes of Juventus, Celtic, and Tottenham. Some pretty big names, all things considered, given the young man’s rather low profile.
That’s not to say Harper doesn’t have some promising items in his CV: he has represented England at U17 and U19 levels. And given that this would be a free transfer, it’s hard to see this as a big risk at all, provided Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp both see something in the numbers to pique their interests.
That being said, the initial returns don’t seem to fit the narrative of a young, up-and-coming attacker joining the likes of Liverpool or Juventus. In 16 appearances in the Championship, Harper only has 1 goal and 1 assist to his credit. It also doesn’t look like he’s fully integrated himself into West Brom’s starting squad.
He’s a rotational piece, to be sure, but this isn’t the same case as someone like, say, Harry Wilson. Transfermarkt has Harper making the starting 11 in just under 1/3rd of his appearances while it has Wilson starting 80% of the time. Something doesn’t quite wash here.
If we’re struggling to find a place for a player far more integral to their squad at the same level, then it makes very little sense for us to believe that Harper would even be considered. Which is why we think Liverpool’s involvement in this rumor is likely nothing more than an effort to put pressure on West Brom to re-sign Harper or to drum up some interested parties looking to take a flyer.
All of that, of course, allowing again for the chance that maybe Edwards and Co. do see something in the underlying numbers that isn’t obvious. Either way, color us skeptical of this till we hear more information.