International tournaments are great for the transfer rumor mill. One or two standout performances can really give the rumor mongers some good material to work with.
However, they absolutely should not be used as a solid basis for recruitment. We’ve seen many high-profile examples of players impressing at the Euros or the World Cup, only to fail to deliver after a move to a big club. International football is just a different game to the grind of a league season.
Liverpool’s recruitment team—one of the best in the business—surely knows this.
That does not stop the rumor mongers from rumoring.
So it goes.
Anyway, following the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s on-pitch near-death experience, the Danish national team’s journey to the quarterfinals has been one of the truly great things about this tournament. And an unlikely hero, 20-year-old Mikkel Damsgaard, has been an integral part of that journey.
The Danish forward, currently plying his trade with Sampdoria in Serie A, has a goal and an assist in 3 appearances at the Euros so far. It helps that his goal opened opened the scoring against Russia in the final, must-win group match, and that it was an absolute belter.
So. Young, exciting talent? Impressing at an international tournament? Time to link him with a move to a few big clubs like Liverpool and AC Milan. And throw in Tottenham while we’re at it.
Unfortunately, his club stats aren’t nearly as impressive. Damsgaard has just 2 goals and 4 assists in 35 appearances (1772 minutes) in Serie A last season. His output the year before with Danish Superliga side Nordsjælland was better, 11 goals in 35 league matches, albeit against a much lower standard of competition.
In short, Damsgaard does not appear to be the best bet to splash a reported £45 million to get his signature. If Jurgen Klopp and Michael Edwards have made reputations for themselves by finding underappreciated, underhyped, undervalued gems, Damsgaard, at this moment, would seem to be the exact opposite of that.
Damsgaard may yet prove his worth at the club level. He’s a young player, coming off a challenging move to a new country, new league, and a new style of playing. In the meantime, he can keep setting up and scoring goals for Denmark, please and thank you.