According to reports from Spain, Liverpool have contacted Barcelona over two players lined up as potential successors to Mo Salah at Anfield.
The Egyptian is understood to be the subject of an ‘unbelievable ‘offer from Saudi Pro League champions Al-Ittihad, with Jan Aage Fjortoft claiming on Wednesday morning that it’s ‘likely‘ the 31-year-old will leave Merseyside this week.
To that effect, Sport have reported that the Reds have asked the LaLiga champions about the situations of Ansu Fati and Ez Abde, with Jurgen Klopp interested in bringing one of the duo to the Premier League in case LFC’s current number 11 departs.
Barcelona have ‘received communication’ of Liverpool’s interest and are ‘waiting’ to see if the Merseysiders now approach them with a bid for either of the two forwards, both of whom could be open to leaving Camp Nou.
The ideal scenario is, of course, that Salah stays for this season at least and that Klopp doesn’t need to go into the market for an instant replacement prior to Friday’s transfer deadline. However, if the Egyptian does move on, which of the Barcelona duo would be the preferred successor?
Despite not turning 21 until October, Fati has already surpassed a century of appearances for the Blaugrana, scoring 29 goals and setting up another 10. Abde, who’s 10 months his senior, has played just 70 senior career games at club level, with nine goals and two assists to his name (Transfermarkt).
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The younger of the two wingers also comes out on top for a number of other performance metrics across their respective careers, as per FBref.
Barcelona’s number 10 has averaged more shots per game (3.7 v 2.51), more shots on target per 90 (1.28 v 0.88) and more shot-creating actions per match (3.37 v 3.22), while he also boasts a superior pass completion rate (83.2% v 67.4%).
The catch is that while both have played on the right flank, which Salah occupies at Liverpool, they are both more accustomed to a left-sided role, so neither would seem the most natural fit to replace the Egyptian.
However, if the Reds’ hand is forced and they need a wide attacker through the door pronto, then Fati would be the preferred option over Abde from the Barcelona duo.