When it comes to transfer rumors I usually try to figure out exactly how the particular source in question might have an inside tie to a player. When it was reported by a French source that an English club tried to buy a Nigerian player from a Spanish club, well, I was curious as to where they got their information.
Liverpool had a €35m bid for Villarreal’s Nigerian attacker Samuel Chukwueze rejected last month. (France Football via @GFFN)— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) February 10, 2020
While GFFN is a really good source for French football, I really cannot make sense of why they would have an inside scoop here. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg for why this rumor makes no sense. The reported fee, 35m, is only 5m shy of what Chukwueze’s release clause is reported to be. Liverpool is one of the richest clubs on earth, what’s an extra 5m to them if it’s a player they apparently want this badly?
Then there’s the fact that the player is Nigerian. Next year’s AFCON tournament will take place in the middle of the club season, meaning any players called up will be away from their teams for about a month. Liverpool will already be missing Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane for that tournament, so if the play is to spend over 30m to get a depth winger to play behind them, why on earth would you go buy one that will likely be gone for the same month as your two starting wingers?
That said, for a big club looking for a rotational winger, Chukwueze would be a wonderful addition. While he’s a bit of an enigma as a finisher, creatively and in terms of buildup involvement he’s everything a team could want.
We’ve been discussing here at the site lately whether a flat 4-4-2 or a 433 would be the teams best formation, Chukwueze is a great fit in both of them. Someone will come along and pay that release clause eventually (if we don’t up it via an extension) but until that comes, he’s an incredibly useful player.
I don’t mean to doubt GFFN, but this claim just makes no sense to me. I don’t think it ever happened. He’s an exciting young player and a rumor sprung up with him and a big club, it happens.