If one were to create the perfect winger for Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, it would be hard to top Ousmane Dembélé, a player who seems perfectly suited to add a fourth name to the already deadly front three and who, at just 21 years of age, has plenty of growing left to do.
Add in that he was a player Liverpool’s recruitment team—many of whom are still at the club today—wanted to sign before he went to Dortmund and that, though he signed there after Klopp left, he was a player Klopp tracked at Rennes, and it almost seems a little too obvious.
There’s just one problem, of course, when it comes to the rumours that Dembélé could end up at Liverpool this summer. Namely the part where Barcelona signed the young winger last summer in a £135M (€150M) deal. Still, it’s been a few weeks now and they’re still coming.
The latest from the always excitable rumour mongers in Spain—with El Gol Digital leading the charge this round—is that Barcelona have, after having watched him first-hand this season, determined Dembélé is not the right sort of player to succeed at the Catalan club.
As such, they would be willing to take a loss on his re-sale, accepting last summer’s fee was always going to be inflated by Neymar’s PSG switch and moving Dembélé again for around £100M. Which gets you back to the stuff about him being a perfect fit for Klopp’s Liverpool.
Will it amount to anything? Almost certainly not—the Spanish rumour mongers, after all, are quite horribly unreliable even at the best of times. Plus, even at a reduced £100M fee, it’s hard to see good value in Dembélé when Nabil Fekir is rumoured to be worth around £60M.
But Dembélé would be a pretty much perfect fit for Liverpool, a fourth name for the attack—a fourth name Liverpool will need to maintain their form across multiple competitions next season—and a player who at 21 could yet grow into one of the best attackers in the game.
Which makes it hard not to wish, just a little, that as unlikely as it seems that these rumours could ever amount to anything more than noise, that Dembélé to Liverpool might somehow come off before the start of the 2018-19 season.