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Basque Reports Claim Liverpool Targeting Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak

The 21-year-old Sweden international is said to be seen as the long-term successor to Roberto Firmino.

FBL-EURO-2020-2021-MATCH09-ESP-SWE Photo by JOSE MANUEL VIDAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Liverpool’s top transfer priority heading into the summer was at centre half, and the club moved quickly to sign Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig as a result. Their second priority is to sign a midfielder following the departure of Gini Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain.

After that, and depending on whether new homes can be found for the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi, a forward could be targeted. And local Basque reports claim that the club’s top forward target is Real Sociedad and Sweden 21-year-old Alexander Isak.

According to Noticias de Gipuzkoa, Liverpool see Isak as an valuable short-term squad piece and potential long-term replacement for Roberto Firmino—though if true, given Isak stands 1.92m or 6’4”, it would likely signal a radical change in approach for the Reds.

In addition to being built more like Peter Crouch than Firmino, Isak isn’t a creative presence. He had 17 goals and two assists last year in the league for a goal or assist every 124 minutes from 16.47 expected goals and just 1.84 expected assists, with 0.38 key passes per 90.

By comparison, Firmino scored nine goals and seven assists for a goal or assist every 180 minutes, though he did that while creating 12.86 expected goals—a number that speaks to his struggles finishing—and 6.12 expected assists while making 1.37 key passes per match.

Isak’s goal return is exceptional for a striker his age—but he’s a very different sort of striker than Firmino or any Liverpool have had during Jürgen Klopp’s tenure. He’s also said to have a release clause of €70M, and Sociedad are unlikely to be willing to sell for less.

Add it all up, and there seems plenty of reason for skepticism, even if the chatter is coming from a local outlet. One interesting note, though, is that it wasn’t long ago that Sociedad were said to view Divock Origi as a potential target should Isak depart this summer.

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