Is Dominik Szoboszlai the Long-Term Mohamed Salah Replacement
Excited news hit the Liverpool gossip pages through the middle of the week, which had the Reds linked with the brilliant Hungarian talent, Dominik Szoboszlai. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder is one of Europe’s brightest young starlets, with a raft of interest and admirers all keen to secure his signature. Though he is a player that has been linked with a move to Anfield in the past, this most recent news is certainly something that feels genuine and in line with how we are to transition.
Despite many links to varying players of interest, many Liverpool fans believe we will never sign a new player again and point to FSG not backing this or that, which is an argument that holds little credence. The ownership has not been overly enthusiastic about spending money, obviously, yet the LFC turnover dictates there are substantial funds for player regeneration which would not even require a huge investment. The portfolio of the Boston-based group has been slowly built upon sound investment and growth, therefore to imagine they would want the value of this £3bn entity to decrease, simply holds no water. A combination of tightened purse strings, COVID, training ground, and stadium improvements, are where the profits have filtered towards in recent years. Additionally, to this, I do believe our manager has resisted the need to replace aging assets, with a strong bond between him and his playing staff evident to all.
Whatever reservation, argument, or agenda-based story is thrown about (regarding FSG), I see the club backing the start of an overhaul this summer. The projected sale of the club stagnated (midway through last season) and the tiers of directorship seemed to misalign with the American owners clearly banking on a huge sale. With those attempts shelved (for the time being at least), now begins the process of identifying and recruiting the players that can help create more on-pitch brilliance. Being optimistic is not a pro-FSG stance, merely a logical outlook on what responsible owners will need to do in order to maintain the value of their commodity. Champions League and sustained success is a must in order to guarantee the eventual sale price is as high as possible, therefore, a solid enough outlay this summer is most certainly on the cards.
I believe key areas will be addressed over the coming windows, with 3 – 4 players being recruited into the midfield area. It is clear that at least one new middle addition was needed last summer, so with James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keïta, all now having left the club, it does indicate that three new midfield men will be sought. After the expiration of their contracts, they joined the legendary Bobby Firmino, who also departed Anfield once his deal had run down. This scenario is something which is now in addition to our young attacker, Fábio Carvalho, leaving the club for a season-long loan at RB Leipzig. This is the very same club that Dominik Szoboszlai is currently signed with, which creates a whole new and interesting dynamic on the whole affair.
With Alexis Mac Allister potentially to be joined by Khéphren Thuram and Manu Kone, that trio would add the energy and quality that is desperately needed. In terms of facilitating the back line with a specialist left-sided defender, it appears that one of Micky van de Ven and Gonçalo Inácio will be signed to ensure a strong back three can be molded. Though I feel a backup right back is needed, the club may well push that requirement down the line. This moves me onto the forward line, where I can see the current RBL star migrating towards in years to come. If we were to see the 6ft 1inch dynamo brought in for the reported £60m release clause, I could see him become a player that predominantly links the midfield and attack. This is a force of nature that will provide both goals and assists, whilst being able to work back and maintain the midfield structure. What I can envisage, is that the former RB Salzburg player becomes somewhat of a secondary forward or deeper wide forward, one that eventually replaces the Egyptian King. In the meantime, he is perfect for that advanced number eight role on the right-hand side, with a tantalizing link-up with Trent and Salah incoming.
Liverpool have informed RB Leipzig that they will trigger the €70m clause for Dominik Szoboszlai, https://t.co/HWNHqOsJ8i
— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) June 30, 2023
With the dealings and growth of football in Saudi Arabia this very summer, it becomes increasingly likely that our world-famous number eleven could eventually be tempted by the huge amounts of money on offer. Having just turned 31 years old (and with two years left on his existing deal), it may be a smart move by Liverpool to at least entertain what sort of monies they would receive for one of football’s biggest stars next summer. As Lionel Messi heads to the US and Karim Benzema to Saudi Arabia, there is clearly a desire for these veteran stars to take in one last major payday. Mohamed Salah is the greatest African footballer to have ever played the game and despite still playing to an elite level, the Reds must be mindful of what best serves their future interests. I would imagine with one year remaining on his current deal, next June would still see bids north of £100m to arrive. This would be the statement signing to match that of Benzema’s unveiling this year, which is why we may have moved so swiftly this week for Dominik Szoboszlai.
Dominik Szoboszlai Fact File
Age – 22 years old (DOB 25/10/2000)
Current club – RB Leipzig
Nationality – Hungarian
Contract Expiry – June 30 2026
Height – 6ft 1inch
Weight – 74kg
Appearances – 226 games
Goals & Assists – 62 goals / 73 assists
Total minutes played – 22,503
International caps & goals – 20 games / 7 goals
Transfermarkt value – €40m
46 games played
3’708 minutes played
161 minutes per goal involvement
The above stats represent a Goliath in waiting, one who could operate in between the attacking and midfield lines, with a different yet equally effective style to that of our record-breaking scorer. A transitional season that allows him to immerse himself into Jürgen Klopp’s bespoke brand of football, could represent the ideal soft departure of our former Roma attacker. Though I am merely speculating and could be miles off, I do recall a certain Luis Díaz arriving before the departure of Sadio Mané, whereas Cody Gakpo was signed prior to Bobby leavings the reds. Forward-thinking and the evolution of our team are key to growth, which is hopefully the model we undertake once more.
Where this wonderful young player ends up (positionally), who knows. I am just glad that it is looking like a deal we get done, which will be another sensational piece of business by Britain’s most successful ever football club.