Forget Saul – Liverpool should reignite interest in EURO 2020 ace

Forget Saul, Liverpool should move for Renato Sanches as he ticks all the boxes and his age means his injury record shouldn’t be a massive concern.

While nothing is sealed in stone and Barcelona have a tricky deal on their hands, Liverpool might be best served to move on from Saul and to reignite their interest in Renato Sanches.

It was previously claimed by Pedro Almeida that the Reds were close to completing a deal to sign Sanches but it’s obvious now that was wide of the mark.

On Tuesday, Rudy Galetti reported that Liverpool are still interested in the Portuguese midfielder and now is the time for the Reds to make their move.

It’s unclear exactly how much Lille will demand for the 23-year-old but given that he has just two years left on his contract, the €35m that Almeida touted seems a reasonable price point.

It’s likely higher than that but I doubt it’s close to €50m especially given his injury record which I actually think is blown out of proportion.

Georginio Wijnaldum was incredible for Liverpool and hardly missed a game and so it would make sense to sign someone with similar athleticism, that’s not necessarily the case.

In Thiago Alcantara, Liverpool technically already signed their Wijnaldum replacement so signing Sanches isn’t as much of a risk as you’d think.

While the opening fixtures might tell a different story because of international commitments this summer, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago are likely to form Liverpool’s first-choice midfield three.

Unless a world-class no.8 like Saul is signed, that is unlikely to change.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 23: Renato Sanches of Portugal warms up prior to during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group F match between Portugal and France at Puskas Arena on June 23, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary.
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JUNE 23: Renato Sanches of Portugal warms up prior to during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group F match between Portugal and France at Puskas Arena on June 23, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Angel Martinez – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

At just 23, there is plenty of time to help Sanches fix his injury record and as Thiago has shown at 30, it’s not impossible.

The Spaniard arrived at Liverpool with 14 different injuries since the start of the 2017/18 season which forced him to miss 223 days through injury.

He was written off before he joined the Reds and had he not contracted COVID or had his leg scythed by Richarlison, he would have missed zero games due to injury or illness last season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool with a bandage on his head after sustaining a head injury during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 28, 2021 in London, England.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 28: Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool with a bandage on his head after sustaining a head injury during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 28, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Every player is different and we’ve seen Naby Keita struggle season after season with injuries so there are no guarantees but there is cause for concern.

That said, I’ve grown to love Renato Sanches and it would be great to see him return to the Premier League and rewrite his script.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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