France crashed out of the Under-21 European Championship and while Ibrahima Konate was solid, Houssem Aouar was terrible, looking a shadow of the player that was so heavily desired last summer.
Liverpool’s new signing put in some strong, assertive tackles but a wasteful second half from the young Les Bleus opened the door for Myron Boadu to score a fantastic brace to send Holland to the semi-finals.
Aouar, however, was poor. He’s been on the radar for Liverpool and Arsenal fans over the last two seasons and now seems likely to leave Lyon for a reported asking price of £25m but judging by Monday’s display, he’s not wanted at Anfield.
His passing was wasteful and he lacked any kind of sharpness and any time left-back Faitout Maouassa gave him the ball, France’s counter-attacks were slowed down and it wasn’t until Maxence Caqueret came on that it looked like the French might win.
Taking to Twitter after the game, Liverpool fans warned the club away from signing him this summer.
It might be reactionary but Aouar was poor and based on that showing alone, it’s becoming clear why nobody has signed him at what seems to be a fairly low £25million asking price.
One fan used his age as a stick to beat him with: “Aouar is 24 in a U21 game btw.”
Finally, a supporter with Joe Gomez as his avatar wrote: “This French squad is full of ballers and then Aouar at left wing.”
In 33 competitions this season, Aouar has scored and assisted 14 times which is a decent return and it’s likely he just had a bad game against Holland U21 but given his age, he really should have been taking the game by the scruff of the neck.
That lack of leadership and responsibility is more concerning than the performance itself and it’s something that made Philippe Coutinho a fantastic player for the club.
More often than not, he’d receive the ball on the edge of the box and despite passing options all around him, he’d take the responsibility unto himself and strike the ball from over 25 yards.
He had varying success but it was his confidence in his own abilities that made him succeed and it’s something that Aouar seems to lack.
Liverpool need goals from midfield but they’re at the point where they also need players that can be trusted to produce big moments in big games and for that Under-21 side, that was the biggest game of the season and he disappointed hugely.