Striker doesn’t look the most pressing need for a Liverpool side that has built itself around the unconventional Roberto Firmino up top and has a pair of more conventional choices on the bench in Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge. That hasn’t stopped the club being linked to a few.
This week, the talk has surrounded Celtic’s Moussa Dembélé, a 20-year-old in impressive form with the likely Scottish champions. Before Dembélé, though, the young striker whose name was being linked with a Liverpool move was FC Rostov’s Iranian international Sardar Azmoun.
“Ajax, PSV, or Liverpool?” he asked when the question of possible January destinations was put to him earlier in the week. “I haven’t received any offers, but if there are then I’m going to take my time to look into it, whether it’s come from Liverpool or other clubs.”
His agent made similarly vague noises when pressed about Azmoun’s future, saying he wants to be “the best striker in the Russian Premier League” but that if any transfer offers arrived they would “look at them.” Stoke and Everton have also been linked with the 21-year-old Iranian.
Of all the players linked with a Liverpool move over the past month, Azmoun is the purest striker, a traditional number nine with a large frame and an ability to run the channels. Compared to current Liverpool players, his skill set is most similar to Divock Origi’s.
That would make him something of an odd man to make a key January target, as most of the linked players so far have been wide players first. Even Dembélé, who is also primarily a striker, has shown some ability to be effective from wider areas. Not so Azmoun.
All told, then, it’s hard not to look at the rumours—as well as Stoke and Everton and PSV and Ajax, the other linked clubs—and wonder if Liverpool’s name is only being added to the mix by the player’s agent as he looks to orchestrate a lucrative deal.