Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe is just 18 years old, but has this season grown into one of the most potent attackers in European football.
This time last year, very few people had heard of him, but now he is sought after by every major team on the continent having scored 26 league goals in France, as well as scoring six times in the Champions League, including in the knock-out stages against Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus.
The usual suspects in the form of Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain have been linked, whilst big-spenders closer to home in the form of Chelsea and Manchester City are also interested, and Arsenal have been inevitably linked because of the player’s comparisons with Thierry Henry.
Anfield could be an interesting destination for the French hitman
Most interestingly, though, is that Liverpool are said to be in the mix, too. First came speculation from L’Equipe in France which name-checked the Reds as an interested party, before reputable sources in England were happy to put their name on the stories too.
There is definite admiration for the player on Merseyside – after all, who would not want to sign a player of that stature – but the real question is how concrete that interest might be.
Rumour has it that Jurgen Klopp personally spoke to Mbappe’s representatives a few weeks ago to register an interest, although since the same accusations were made by Southampton when creating the Virgil van Dijk fiasco, that might not be the best idea.
The strength of Liverpool's interest is as yet unclear, but there is no doubt Michael Edwards and Liverpool's team behind the scenes should be doing all they can do a get this deal done. If Mbappe is not a target high up on Liverpool's list, he certainly should be.
Mbappe could be perfect for Liverpool
The very fact that such a mess was made over Van Dijk makes another so-called ‘marquee’ signing all the more important. Mbappe would be perfect. It would fill a key position for Liverpool to strengthen, and would blow the accusation that Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group are not prepared to sanction big-money moves out of the water. It would also appease some of the unrest caused by the PR disaster of capturing Van Dijk.
On the face of it, Liverpool attracting Mbappe might appear unlikely, but there are things to counter that. Several factors offer a glimmer of hope that it could be possible.
Liverpool – backed by the return to the Champions League and the TV money on offer in the Premier League – have undoubtedly got the money for the transfer fee. If they were prepared to pay £60 million for a centre back, then why not a bit more for a big-name striker?
At the age of 18, and reportedly on a relatively modest wage of around £25,000 a week at the moment at Monaco, his wage demands would probably not exceed the current wage structure at Liverpool. In the astronomical market that we have at the moment, his wages would likely not be prohibitive.
It is not just money or transfer fees that would attract Mbappe, either. Klopp has a proven track record of developing young players like Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels, and there would be no reason why he could not produce something similar again. Working with Klopp, and then perhaps making the move to Real Madrid in a few years time, could be appealing.
Liverpool fans would take to Mbappe immediately and he would be an instant hero. At other teams like Real Madrid, there is no guarantee that he would even get regular games, which he needs to develop.
With Cristiano Ronaldo holding all the power at the Bernabeu, Mbappe would not get into the side as a number nine now the Portuguese wants to play there.even if he was to accept playing wide, there is vast competition in the form of Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Isco and Lucas Vasquez, assuming James Rodriguez moves on.
With Liverpool, Mbappe would play most games and would be in the first choice eleven in his favoured central role on a weekly basis, which he himself has said is extremely important. In that regard at least, Liverpool have a chance to propose an enticing opportunity.
Wherever Mbappe decides to go, and there is no need for Monaco to sell him necessarily, the purchasing team will be getting a world-class talent in the making. The very fact that Liverpool are even talked about as being in the equation is progress, but actually signing Mbappe would be huge.
It is very much feasible, and Mbappe should be a priority for the Reds as a massive statement of intent.