Liverpool ‘follows’ £ 20million by following in Erling Haaland’s footsteps
Liverpool are no stranger to keeping an eye on Red Bull Salzburg players, and in hugely talented teenager Karim Adeyemi the next big thing to come out of the Austrian club may have already emerged.
Adeyemi is only a few games away from what you might call his “breakout season”, but he’s already making a strong impression on the national and European stages.
“He’s highly rated,” said freelance writer Bence Bocsak, who spoke to Adeyemi’s youth coaches, on a special podcast exclusively for Blood Red Club members.
“He is probably the best forward to come out of Salzburg since Erling Haaland and I would put him ahead of Patson Daka.
“He scored on his international debut for Germany – pretty well for a 19-year-old – and Liverpool have been following him since he was 16, before he moved to Austria.
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“He is also wanted by Bayern Munich and Barcelona, which gives you an indication of his odds.”
Stylistically, as you might expect for a successful player at Salzburg, Adeyemi – valued at £ 18million – would be a great choice under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, and his numbers are already pretty good.
“His defensive production is really impressive,” Bocsak continued.
“He makes 2.6 digs every 90 minutes and if you compare that to Liverpool striker who makes the most defensive contributions, Roberto Firmino, Firmino made 2.68 digs every 90 last season.
“A high percentage also enters the opposition half: 74% for Ademyemi and 71% for Firmino.
“They also average a similar number of interceptions for 90 and have identical defensive duel rates which is pretty impressive for a young striker so in terms of defensive contributions he would suit Liverpool.
“But in terms of attacking, what excites me is that Adeyemi has something Firmino doesn’t have: pace. In some ways, the way he uses his pace to run behind defenders me. recalls Timo Werner.
“But as far as Liverpool is concerned, he’s a combination of Diogo Jota in terms of pace and technical quality, and Firmino – someone who has great touch and is good in one-on-one situations.”
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Adeyemi can play in all three front positions, equally comfortable on either flank as he is in the middle, and is excellent at dribbling and beating a man in any of those starting roles.
Adeyemi has scored eight goals and assisted two more in 13 games so far this season.
He idolized Arjen Robben during his time with Bayern Munich in his youth.
“Just like Robben, you sometimes know what Adeyemi is going to do, but you can’t stop him from doing it,” added Tom Middler of The Other Bundesliga podcast.
On day one of the Champions League group stage, he won three penalties in one game against Sevilla – a defense containing Jules Kounde, linked with a £ 68million transfer to Chelsea this summer, and Diego Carlos, linked a year ago with a mega-money move to Anfield.
So Adeyemi’s quality is already becoming evident, even on the biggest stage – although Liverpool will have some tough competition if they decide to pursue him in earnest.
“Adeyemi grew up in Munich and this is his home. He chose Salzburg for this reason: it’s not that far,” Bocsak said.
“It’s a different situation when you’re 19 compared to 16, so there’s hope for Liverpool, and Klopp in Germany is one of the most respected coaches in the world, so he’s also a big decoy for him. “