If you’d suggested Liverpool would sign a £45M 22-year-old player who could deputise at left back and maybe—maybe!—on the wing, most people who were paying attention to the club’s needs, spending history, and likely summer budget would have been skeptical.
Add a name, though, say Real Betis’ 22-year-old mostly a left back but has filled in higher up a few times and might have a flexible skill-set Junior Firpo and a whole bunch of people will ignore what they know and embrace the rumour. Because it’s silly season, I guess.
Turns out—quelle surprise—that skeptical was the right call all along, with The Liverpool Echo today insisting that, yes, Liverpool aren’t going to be spending €45M on a backup left back who might—might!—be able to develop into a capable reserve winger as well.
Though there was always a chance Liverpool’s laptop men saw something in the numbers, Firpo was never a sensible-seeming target on the surface, and with the story out of Spain being Liverpool were battling Manchester United for him, the angle seemed obvious.
Namely that Liverpool were being name-dropped in order to try to get United to hurry up and trigger his €45M release clause. Assuming even United actually were or are interested and both clubs aren’t being used by Betis to try to flush out a few interested parties.
Meanwhile, the player himself has been talking about his desire to remain in Spain and has picked out Real Madrid as the club he’d like to end up at, which hardly seems an effective come get me plea for anyone else out there who might be interested.