What’s been said?
Plenty for a player that few will likely have heard of. Liverpool are rumoured to be strongly interested in Duran, whether that be for January or the future. A few former Reds have had their say about the Colombian youngster and his future prospects too. Brad Friedel has been clear with his thoughts. “He’s young but he has all the attributes to succeed. He’s powerful, fast, can hold the ball up and has an eye for a goal. He would have quite a bit to learn of course but he has the profile for Premier League football.” Interesting words from a man with a wealth of domestic experience. The 18 year old forward has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton and West Ham in recents weeks, whilst his agent and family are rumoured to have travelled to England to assess his opportunities.
What Does He Bring?
All the elements a modern striker needs on the surface. The Colombian youngster possesses a real turn of pace plus power, strength and a huge frame for someone so young. Similar to Darwin Nunez, the Medellin native would need refinement but has all the raw attributes that Jurgen Klopp and his coaches could work with. Duran would be a handful for any Premier League defender even now and appears a perfect FSG signing due to his age and high ceiling. Despite not turning 19 until 13th December, he already has four international caps and the presence of Luis Diaz could assist any settlement period.
As the 22/23 MLS season hadn’t begun, it’s last campaign’s stats that have to be focused on. Nevertheless they make for excellent reading with eight goals and six assists for Chicago Fire across all completions. Perhaps more impressive is the fact they’ve comes across 1642 minutes, meaning Duran averages a goal or assist every 117 minutes. The only downsides maybe his five yellow cards and one dismissal in that time, so discipline is something that clearly needs to be improved. A little reliant on his left foot dominant as well, it would be an area he’d have to improve over time.
Price tag and realistic?
With a contract that runs until 2024 but with Fire rumoured to have an option to extend, expectations are even without a bidding war, clubs wouldn’t see any change from £10 million. Wages should be no issue and Duran’s agents, Niagra Sports Company have a multitude of European based players on their books. This seems like a real low risk signing with a high upside. As his teammate and former red Xherdan Shaqiri has stated, Duran will need game time if he is to develop further. Even if it’s a purchase where the 18 year old stays in the MLS for a period or moves to Europe on loan, it seems a smart investment and in the worst case the money could be made back. If Liverpool don’t take the plunge don’t be surprised if another premier league team or European side does. He won’t be top of any list for January, but good business is good business.