With Divock Origi’s breakthrough and Daniel Sturridge’s discovery of something resembling fitness, not to mention the flexibility or Roberto Firmino and an expected return for Danny Ings, most journalists with ties to the club have suggested Liverpool won’t be pushing hard for an out and out striker this summer.
Even if Christian Benteke is sold at a loss, the suggestion has been that Liverpool are more interested in a multi-position attacker capable of playing striker if needed rather than one that can only be effective leading the line, and fans have been excited by rumours linking the club to the likes of Mario Götze and Alexandre Lacazette as a result.
According to the Mirror and Express, though, Liverpool are now instead considering exchanging one £30M Belgian striker for another. And they’re prepared to battle it out with Tottenham and West Ham for the honour of paying that fee to Marseille for 22-year-old Michy Batshuayi, who is in the midst of a breakout season in Ligue 1.
Batshuayi has scored an impressive 20 goals and 10 assists in 45 total appearances for Marseille, who have struggled mightily and sit 15th in the table, and the striker reportedly wants to move to a more prominent club in one of Europe’s top four leagues this summer. Along with the English sides, Juventus has also been floated as a possibility.
As impressive as the top line numbers are, it may be worth noting that while he took the autumn to settle and so has played fewer minutes, Divock Origi has similar underlying stats to Batshuayi—both have scored a goal roughly every 180 minutes and tallied a goal or assist every 130 minutes. Both have a strike rate of near enough 14%.
While Batshuayi has clearly had an impressive season, it’s far from clear that he would be an upgrade on the club’s current options. Plus, with
LilleLyon accepting a £22M bid for Lacazette in January from Newcastle only to have the player reject a move, it’s even less clear if paying £30M for Batshuayi would represent anything like good value.
Given it’s the Mirror and Express pushing the story, though—and that it appears to have come from vaguely defined sources in France before that—it would be easy to write it off as a case of a club, in this case Marseille, who are struggling in the table and financially and looking to drum up interest in their most saleable asset.
Batshuayi is an intriguing young talent, but short of more reliable reports from Liverpool’s end, that’s probably the best way to look at any rumours linking him with a move to Anfield in the coming weeks.