Under Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool have made a point of going after promising prospects. So far, their investments in youth haven’t much paid off, though recent signings Emre Can, Divock Origi, and Joe Gomez have at least at times looked like they could be on the path to stardom.
Regardless of what one thinks of the approach, with Marko Grujic signing in January, it looks as though it’s an approach that will continue now that Jürgen Klopp is the manager. And according to rumour mongers in France, it’s set to continue with the club chasing after 17-year-old Monaco striker Kyllian Mbappe Lottin.
The speedy youngster has recently earned Thierry Henry comparisons by becoming the youngest ever player to score for Monaco, breaking the legendary Monaco, Arsenal, and Barcelona attacker’s mark in a 3-1 victory over Troyes on the weekend. If the rumours are true, though, he’ll be moving far earlier than Henry did.
He could be leaving on the cheap, too, as he has yet to sign his first professional contract and his representatives are believed to be sounding out English clubs. The goal, of course, is a payday for the player—and those representatives. Given his promise and the lack of a transfer fee, though, he could still end up a bargain.
Even on relatively high wages or with an unusually high agent fee paid out to sweeten the deal, if Liverpool believe he’s going to develop into a star it would be far cheaper to pick him up now than in the transfer market in a few seasons. Rumour has it, though, that they have some very tough competition for Lottin.
Given the Henry comparisons, Arsenal are of course being mentioned. So too are Manchester United, who reportedly enquired into the player in January. All of which adds up to a youngster who sounds both hugely promising and also, potentially, a costly bargain—on a free but with fairly high wages.
Or it could add up to a youngster with an especially active agent who in the end sign his first contract with Monaco before kicking round with a few mid-table sides on the continent for the next decade. Still, when you put together "next Henry" and "on a free," it’s hard not to get at least a little excited by the idea.