Scouting Report: Liverpool’s Next €22m Midfield Maestro?

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Liverpool’s Radar: Unwrapping the Buzz Around Bilal El Khannouss

Rising Star in the Rumour Mill

Another day and another one to add to the list with Sudakhov and others. In the footballing carousel of January, the rumour mill rarely ceases, especially when it concerns a talent like Bilal El Khannouss, who’s currently making waves over at KRC Genk. A name now apparently whispered with reverence around the hallowed grounds of Anfield, a El Khannouss’ potential move to Liverpool has fans and pundits alike perched on the edge of their seats. However, it’s probably wise to take a step back on this one.

What’s Being Said: Media Buzz and Speculation

“El Khannouss has caught the eye of the Merseyside giants,” reports HLN, a sentiment echoing across various outlets. It’s not just the skill that Liverpool is interested in; it’s the maturity and vision of a 19-year-old that has many tipping their hats according to the articles. The linkage used is clear – Liverpool, a club steeped in history, may just be on the cusp of securing another young prodigy, reminiscent of signings that have turned into legends.

The Key Stats: Analysing El Khannouss

At 19, El Khannouss stands as a beacon of raw potential. With 20 appearances in the Jupiler Pro League, contributing three goals and as many assists, his stats are impressive for a younger player still learning the game. The Belgian-born Moroccan international has shown versatility, operating effectively as both an attacking and a central midfielder. Notably, his international debut is a testament to his burgeoning repute as we know the talents of Belgium and their attackers.

Player Comparison: El Khannouss vs. Elliott

When you pit El Khannouss against Liverpool’s own Harvey Elliott, the statistics speak volumes. It’s the smartest comparison as naturally the reds don’t play with a ten, which is his natural position. El Khannouss boasts a pass completion rate of 72.9% against Elliott’s 83.8%, which isn’t the greatest. However, it’s in chance creation where El Khannouss shines, with a non-penalty expected goals (npxG) of 1.6 compared to Elliott’s 0.7, showcasing a keen eye for goal that could complement Liverpool’s dynamic midfield. It’s a far weaker league and not one of the major five, but there’s enough to suggest a player of real promise.

Photo by IMAGO

Likelihood and Financials: Assessing the Transfer Possibility

Transfermarkt pegs El Khannouss at a market value of €22 million, a figure that might just be a bargain in today’s inflated market. With a contract binding him to Genk until 2027, any suitor, Liverpool included, would need to come in with a compelling offer around that mark to tempt the Belgium club. His wages, while undisclosed, are likely to be a fraction of what Liverpool’s first-team regulars command, hinting at a financially viable deal. Atletico are also apparently interested and it’s hard to see this one being likely. We don’t play with a ten, we’re stacked with eights and the maths tells you it’s one not to bank one. A real outsider if anything.

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