Palace’s Rising Star Linked to Anfield Move

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Michael Olise: The Rising Star Amidst Transfer Speculations

Olise’s Summer of Decision

In the most recent summer, it seemed certain that Crystal Palace’s star performer, Michael Olise, would leave Selhurst Park for pastures new. As 115-charge Manchester City circled, they were soon joined by the profit and sustainability-ignorant Chelsea, in a battle of who could outspend one another. There was an ongoing theory that the then-21-year-old, had a £35m release clause in his contract, something that would have been agreed when he signed from Reading in 2019. With a youth career seeing him spend time at both Arsenal (very briefly) and then Chelsea, eventually the talented winger would land at the Etihad in 2016, where he would spend a year under the Manchester City banner. A move to Reading soon followed (in 2017), before Crystal Palace chairman, Steve Parish, triggered their own £8.4m release clause, allowing the exciting Hammersmith-born player to return to London.

Photo: IMAGO

The Dilemma of Big Club Moves

Why Did Olise Turn Down Big Moves in the Summer?

I suspect it is very easy to pick the biggest and most glamorous next club, especially if the pathway to better things has ascended from a relatively low level. In the case of the Eagles immensely gifted number 7, that pathway was often within the halls of major footballing clubs, which would have given him an insight into the obstacles that can so often restrict a young player’s journey. Roméo Lavia and Jadon Sancho would have been key examples of prospects that eventually had to move away (from Manchester City), to further their development. Smart footballing decisions and a strong family surrounding can usually see guidance more forthcoming, without the sports agents that are drawn to a big contract with a major club. A prospective move back to Manchester City was probably not appealing to the ambitious attacker, therefore a step back into the Pep Guardiola fold was never a likely scenario. With regards to Chelsea (where Olise was a youth asset from 2009 to 2016), only the lure of that huge wage would be tempting to any player right now, so I cannot see any smart decision-maker choosing to land at Stamford Bridge right now.

Contemplating Future Prospects

In addition to the obvious pitfalls of joining each of these clubs, it must also be a real dilemma to consider the short- and long-term future of each destination. Manchester City is set to be hit with major sanctions, as their 115 charges will inevitably lead to multiple relegations and stricter control over their controversial spending. Chelsea, on the other hand, appear intent on spending as much money as humanly possible, which can only lead to points deductions, fire sales, and transfer bans, due to the ludicrous spending of their new keener, Todd Bohely. On top of that predicament, it appears the Roman Abramovich era may now finally be called into question, as all their previous success (under their former owner) was built upon spending way outside the boundaries of FFP. Ultimately, I do not see a way in which any driven player would run the risk of moving to either of these groups, at least until they get their houses in order.

Olise’s Career and Potential Fit at Anfield

Michael Olise Club – Crystal Palace Nationality – French (English born) Age – 22-years-old DOB – 09/08/1995 Height – 6ft 0inch Weight – 73kg Senior Appearances – 153 games Senior Goals / Assists – 18 goals / 34 assists Senior Minutes Played – 10,250 Contract Expiry – June 30 2027 Transfermarkt Value – €50m Projected Cost of Deal – €60m (release clause)

Where Would the Palace Winger Fit in At Anfield?

Liverpool FC is a club that prefers to avoid any problematic bidding wars (as with Moisés Caicedo), by merely activating an existing release clause in the contract concerned. Both Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai were recruited during the summer of 2023, with the knowledge that each player could be attained for a contractually guaranteed fee. This type of process allowed the Reds interim Sporting Director, Jörg Schmadtke, to bypass all negotiations with either player’s employers, before proceeding with personal terms, that would have been agreed well ahead of time. The timing of this link (to the Palace player) is interesting, as it is a type of deal that is not too dissimilar to the acquisitions of either Cody Gakpo or Luis Díaz.

Adaptability and Tactical Fit

Both current Liverpool players were signed in the previous January windows, to inject energy and ability into the Red’s second-half seasons. Each surprise capture immediately increased competition and unpredictable play, even if the levels of consistency dropped off somewhat. Despite Jürgen Klopp having a full quota of forwards, he will still be losing Mohamed Salah to the 2024 African Competitions for up to six games. If there is a desire to see Michael Olise at Anfield soon, it would represent an immediate upgrade on both Cody Gakpo and Luis Díaz, who have both struggled for form this season. Olise is predominantly a right-sided winger, who drifts inside and onto his favoured left foot, much like Salah, with a twist of Harvey Elliott. The glaring positive in the career stats listed above is the production of assists within a dogmatic enterprise.

In the past, the Reds German manager has shifted Sadio Mané from the right to the left of his attack, which is something I believe he could do with the Palace playmaker. Possessing a ferocious technical ability and talent for delivering into the box, it may represent the perfect balance within the current system of play. Equally so, a shift of the Reds Hungarian skipper, Dominik Szoboszlai, to the left wing could also open the attacking midfield spot for Olise to drop into. In essence, variation and adaptability seem vital to any new additions, which makes the signing of the man a tantalizing one. In signing a new long-term deal with the South London club (late in the summer), there undoubtedly would have been another clause inserted, one that would probably require a €60m bid to be received. If that were the case and the player was willing to make the move, then a move should be made immediately, as Michael Olise could represent the perfect player for Liverpool 2.0.

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