Eyeing the Diomande Prize: Liverpool’s Potential Defensive Reinforcement
What’s Been Said
Liverpool’s keen eye for defensive prowess has reportedly settled on Sporting CP’s Ousmane Diomande. A recent surge of impeccable performances for Ruben Amorim’s side has not only attracted Liverpool’s scouts but also ignited interest across Europe’s elite. The 20-year-old Ivorian, currently showcasing his talents at the Africa Cup of Nations, is hailed for blending modern possession skills with a traditional defensive robustness – a blend Liverpool admires.
The Key Stats
At the tender age of 20, Diomande has already stamped his authority on Sporting’s backline. With nearly 15 matches under his belt this season, he boasts significant playing time, accumulating impressive stats such as 1165 touches and a 57.1% success rate on defensive duels. Internationally, while still awaiting his breakthrough, he’s expected to don the Ivory Coast jersey more frequently, given his upward trajectory. According to The Daily Mail, he’s on Liverpool’s radar and the scouts have watched the Sporting youngster.
Compare Him To
Placing Diomande alongside Liverpool’s own defensive stalwart, Ibrahima Konaté, reveals a tantalising prospect for the Reds. Diomande trumps in touches within the defensive third, signaling his comfort with the ball at his feet. However, Konaté holds his ground with an aerial duel win percentage of 69.0%, slightly under Diomande’s commanding 71.8%. The comparison in expected goals (xG) and non-penalty xG (NPxG) will further excite fans, as these metrics are crucial for modern defenders who often initiate attacks. Any defender in the aerial duel ball park with Virgil and Ibou shouldn’t be ignored.
Likelihood and Fee
Valued at €40 million by Transfermarkt and with a contract running until 2027, Diomande’s acquisition won’t come cheap. Yet, the investment reflects his potential to fortify Liverpool’s backline. His wages, while undisclosed, are likely to align with Liverpool’s pay structure, considering his age and experience. We’ll file this under one to keep an eye on but not get carried away. Especially at that rumoured release clause.