A report from Dutch news outlet Voetbal Internacional suggests that Liverpool are in the front seat in the race to sign PSV Eindhoven’s Donyell Malen.
AC Milan, Barcelona and Juventus are all interested in the Dutch forward but Liverpool are at the ‘front of the queue’ after being alerted to PSV’s hopes of selling him for around £25million.
With Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino struggling, Jürgen Klopp will be in close contact with sporting director Michael Edwards over which gems he can unearth across Europe. Between them, the two forwards have just 14 Premier League goals while Mohamed Salah has 20 on his own.
Donyell Malen, however, has 25 goals and 9 assists for PSV Eindhoven this season – a 47% increase on last season and there are still games left this term for the 1.79m forward to add to his tally.
His age is a huge part of why Liverpool signing makes perfect sense. At just 22, he’s still a kid and Jurgen Klopp will relish the chance to hone his skills and hopefully see him follow in Mane, Salah and Firmino’s stead.
While he doesn’t have the highest defensive work rate and is relatively poor in the air, Malen is an excellent dribbler, is hugely clinical in front of goal and is also great at holding up the ball.
His link-up play and ability to create is also an underrated part of his game. He’s already matched his 9 assists from last season and will be hoping to get into double digits for creativity for the first time in his fledgeling career.
My favourite aspect of his play is something that I loved about Daniel Sturridge. Not only was the English forward able to wriggle away from defenders in tight spaces, his low backlift meant he was able to get powerful shots off even when he only had half a yard of space to work with.
Malen is the same.
The Holland International is able to squirm away from defenders by manipulating the ball with his great close control before finding inventive ways to beat the ‘keeper.
Liverpool have been guilty of lacking invention in front of goal this season, with Mane and Firmino particularly guilty of pathetic finishing. While Salah has once again done the business for the Reds, his attacking teammates have been consistently poor in front of goal.
Liverpool’s season is essentially over.
They failed to hold onto a one-goal lead once again as they allowed Newcastle United to equalise in the 95th minute just days after Diego Llorente did the same for Leeds United in the 87th minute.
The four points dropped in the last week would have seen Klopp’s men inside the top four above Chelsea and West Ham.
Now, with five games remaining, it seems as though the Reds will miss out on Champions League football for the first time under the German manager.