The everflowing 24-hour sports news cycle is dependent on new events occurring — the alternative would be new speculation every week as to why a team whose players are injured for the rest of the season continue to underperform despite the cause being obvious and unchanging, but that could never happen, of course — so as Liverpool exit their first of two consecutive weekends with no football, prepare for the transfer rumour mill to begin ramping up.
First up this week is Patson Daka. The Salzburg striker is having a monster season in Austria, racking up 20 goals in 18 appearances, good for a goal or assist every 50 minutes he’s been on the pitch, and has naturally attracted the attention of Europe’s big dogs. This group includes Liverpool, who, according to Salzburger Nachrichten, have joined Arsenal and Manchesters City and United in the chase for the 22-year old.
Daka’s Red Bull owners are typically willing sellers, but the expectation is still that, with three years left on his deal, the Zambian’s £20m price tag will increase following his prolific league campaign. Comfortably alone at the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts, Daka has improved on what was already an immensely impressive 2019/20, and is currently producing goal involvements at an even higher rate than Erling Haaland did in his last year at the club.
Typically deployed as part of a striking duo in Jesse Marsch’s 4-2-2-2, the six-footer displays a deadly combination of physicality, pace, intelligent movement, predatory instincts and incisive finishing, and as Liverpool look to rebuild their front line, would likely be an excellent fit for the wide right forward position in Jürgen Klopp’s system, where he would be expected to arrive in the box to finish off attacking moves.
The Reds currently have three former Salzburg graduates on the books, but while Sadio Mané has been an unmitigated success, Naby Keïta has struggled to stay fit and Takumi Minamino has been sent to Southampton on loan, so there is no guarantee Daka would be able to translate his game to the Premier League.
Nonetheless, while we can always dream of Mbappé, this is a far more likely example of the kinds of moves Michael Edwards and his team will attempt in the market this summer, so get your hashtags ready for Daka Szn.