Liverpool could sign’ a £16 million Kylian Mbappé’replica’ who outperforms Neymar as their next transfer bargain.
In 2023, Liverpool will need to add another forward. Jürgen Klopp is reportedly considering a player similar to Kylian Mbappé, who has already outperformed Neymar.
Liverpool could probably use another attacker in 2023, in addition to a midfielder or two, and that need will only grow if they deploy a front four more frequently between now and then, as they did successfully against Rangers in the Champions League earlier this week.
Come to the end of the season, more players in forwarding areas will need to be found, with Roberto Firmino’s contract set to expire. Kaide Gordon and one or two other youngsters can provide part of the answer, potentially, but a more senior option will be needed as well.
Jürgen Klopp’s plans will largely be dictated by who remains at the club and who departs, but should the Reds need an attacking player, then someone in France might be worth a look. Spanish outlet Fichajes are already reporting that the Reds are looking to Rennes attacker Kamaldeen Sulemana.
“If you’ve not seen Sulemana, then just think about Kylian Mbappé,” African football writer Gary Al-Smith told the BBC back in March of this year.
“He is not as refined as Kylian Mbappé now, but let’s take it to step by step. What do we like about Kylian Mbappé? His electric pace. Check, Kamaldeen has that. His unpredictable turn of pace or turn of expression. That is what Kamaldeen has as well. Kamaldeen probably has a few more tricks than Kylian, and he needs to hone that in terms of the way he turns players inside out.
“He is raw and that is why Rennes was one of the better places for him to go.”
Not 21 until February and having only signed for Rennes last summer, the Ghanaian international, valued at £16m by Transfermarkt, still need to work on the overall roundedness of his game, but his strength is clear: he ranks in the 99th percentile for dribbles completed across Europe’s top five leagues and the 87th percentile for progressive carries.
FBref listed his most stylistically similar player former Barcelona and Chelsea forward Pedro at the turn of 2022, while Federico Chiesa, linked with a £70m move to Liverpool last summer, was second on the list. Neither player features in the top-10 now, which might indicate a change in style as he progresses, but his underlying numbers remain strong.
Last year, he stole the show against PSG in a 2-0 victory, shining ahead of Neymar and Lionel Messi; by November, he was ranked statistically above Neymar as Ligue 1’s best dribbler in his debut campaign in France.
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done with his game before comparisons to Mbappé and Neymar can even be remotely plausible, of course, but if Liverpool wants him, it is probably going to have to be sooner rather than late
Sulemana will soon follow a long line of other players out of Liverpool’s price range, such as Raphinha, who was at Rennes two years ago, left for £17 million, and then moved to Barcelona for £55 million this summer.
Sulemana is an intriguing option for Liverpool to consider, and for the right price, he could be a wise addition to effectively replace the lost Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino in backup positions, albeit with a much lower ceiling than those two.