Who is Alexander Isak and why might Liverpool be interested?

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Transfers may be on hold while both the Euros and the Copa America are being played, but it doesn’t mean that transfer rumours have taken a break.

Liverpool have been linked with a host of names recently. Fabio Vieira is rumoured to be a target for the Reds and a deal involving Marko Grujic could be on the cards. German media claim Florian Neuhaus is top of the club’s wish list this summer and talks will start again once Germany’s involvement at the Euros comes to an end.

The latest reports are linking Jurgen Klopp’s side with a big money move for Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak.

The 21-year-old caught the eye in Sweden’s opener against Spain, showing superb feet at one point to carve out his side’s best chance. He also had an effort cleared off the line in what was an impressive outing.

Now, it is believed that Isak has a €70million release clause in his contract. However, Borussia Dortmund inserted a clause when they sold him that allows the German side to bring him back to the Bundesliga for just €30million. There is some talk that BVB might activate that and then sell him for a profit, though there is a belief that such a move has been outlawed and players can’t move twice within the same window.

Regardless of what happens between Real Sociedad and BVB, we know one thing for sure and that is Isak won’t be cheap. That is to be expected though. After all, high-quality strikers come at a premium.

If he is a genuine target, he’d be the first pure No9 targeted by Klopp since his arrival on Merseyside. Up until this point, he’s Roberto Firmino as his false-9 with two inside forwards. You can’t really with the success it has had.

Last season was a bit of an eye-opener. With Liverpool struggling to create opportunities in some matches, the lack of a natural goalscorer was there for all to see. Perhaps this is one of the reasons behind the interest in Isak.

As evidenced in the radar above, courtesy of Twenty3, Firmino and Isak don’t share many traits. Their output, and by default their style, couldn’t be any different. The maverick Brazilian is much more of a creator while Isak is a final phase player tasked with putting the ball into the back of the net.

Furthermore, his output is scalable. The Real Sociedad man isn’t like a Patson Daka relying on a huge volume of chances to be at his effective best.

Another tick in the box for the 21-year-old is just how intelligent he is.

Above, you see Isak pick up possession and drive into space. He fakes to shoot with his right on the edge of the box before shifting the ball onto his left side. Having created a bit of space, he’s able to roll the ball into the bottom corner on his weaker side.

It isn’t going to make a highlight reel on YouTube but it highlights a few of his strengths and goes some way to explaining why he netted 17 times in LaLiga last season.

Another example can be seen below.

His movement in the build-up is what is clever. He initially looks as though he’s going to attack the space to his right before quickly readjusting and shifting to his left, between centre-back and full-back.

Upon receiving the pass, he’s in enough space to get the ball back onto his right foot and he then casually curls it beyond the keeper.

Isak is by no means a stationary forward. He’s already a bit of an all-rounder. Under Klopp, he could develop into something truly special.

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