Liverpool are reportedly interested in Zenit winger, Malom, in one of the strangest transfer rumours you will see this summer.
According to Foot Mercato, the Reds have been watching the Brazilian winger along with a number of Saudi clubs as they ‘appreciate his profile’.
In this article, we’re going to look deeper into who Malcom is and whether this transfer rumour is actually as crazy as it initially sounds.
Who is Malcom?
Malcom is a 26-year-old right-winger currently playing for Zenit St. Petersburg in the Russian Football League.
The Brazilian was one the hottest prospects in Europe when he played for Bordeaux, scoring 23 goals and assisting 16 in 96 appearances for the French side.
His fantastic form earned him a move to Barcelona in the summer of 2018, where he failed to make an effective impact.
The winger made just 24 appearances across all competitions for the Spanish side, scoring four goals and assisting two.
A combination of poor performance and attitude saw him make a permanent move to Zenit, where he has applied his trade since the summer of 2019.
In 108 appearances for the Russian side, Malcom has impressed massively and has scored 42 goals and assisted 24 in four years at the club.
Last season was a revelation for the Brazilian, scoring 26 goals and assisting nine in 33 appearances across all competitions.
In June, Malcom was rewarded with his maiden caps for the Brazil National Team where he made two appearances.
Why do Liverpool ‘appreciate his profile’?
I suspect that Liverpool appreciate Malcom’s profile due to his similarity to the Reds’ current right-winger in Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool could do with some extra depth in that position, with youngsters Harvey Elliott and Ben Doak being the only current natural back-up options to Mohamed Salah.
Jurgen Klopp loves to play with inside forwards, cutting in from wide positions onto their stronger foot and looking to score goals and create chances.
Malcom strives in this role and was the major factor behind his incredible goal scoring numbers last season.
Another factor why Liverpool might be interested in the 26-year-old is due to the clinical nature of his attacking play which saw him score from 38% of his shots last season.
The Brazilian is also largely versatile, capable of playing on either wing and even playing as a central option as a false-nine.
This transfer rumour isn’t actually as crazy as what it seems on a first-look, but I also must emphasise how unlikely this move is to materialise.
With Malcom’s current contract at Zenit not set to expire until June 2027, his current market value is around £35million according to Transfermarkt.
I struggle to see Liverpool making a move for Malcom for that price, with a fee of around £15-20million perhaps being more suitable to FSG’s current budget.
This move would also take up the final non-home-grown spot in Klopp’s squad meaning any midfielders or defenders the club signs this summer would have to be English.
Signing a solid midfielder or defender is a much greater need for Liverpool currently, with the likes of Kephren Thuram, Romeo Lavia and Goncalo Inacio all linked with a move to Anfield.
Ultimately, if Liverpool were to look at signing a back-up to Mohamed Salah I think there’s much better options for a much cheaper price tag than Malcom’s.
Expect to see a move similar to the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City in 2018 or Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg in 2020, if the Reds were to make a move for a forward this summer.