Fabrizio Romano has lent his weight to reports linking Liverpool with a potential move for a rising star whose playing style has been compared to a one-time Anfield great.
Last week, Florian Plettenberg claimed that the Reds and ‘especially Jürgen Klopp’ are ‘monitoring the development’ of Assan Ouedraogo, although the likes of Bayern Munich and AC Milan are also interested in the Schalke 04 midfielder (Sky Germany).
In Tuesday’s Daily Briefing for CaughtOffside, the Italian transfer reporter backed the links between LFC and the 17-year-old.
Romano wrote: “There have been reports about Liverpool being keen on Schalke youngster Assan Ouedraogo, and yes it’s true that Liverpool like him but it’s the same for Bayern Munich and AC Milan. They are all informed on his situation, on his release clauses – he has different ones based on the clubs interested.
“For sure he’s a top talent and that’s why those three clubs are interested. I think he has great potential, he’ll need some time to develop but he looks a very good player.”
Ouedraogo made history on the double for Schalke in their first game of this season, becoming their youngest-ever player and goalscorer when he netted on his debut as they lost 5-3 to Hamburg (bundesliga.com).
As per the official Bundesliga website, he ‘plays a bit like’ former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso in how he ‘likes to drop deep and build attacks from there’, while he’s also blessed with ‘explosive pace and power to break the lines’.
He’s featured in all 10 of his side’s league games so far this season, starting seven (Transfermarkt), which shows that he’s already become a mainstay at the Veltins Arena despite only breaking into the first team in August.
For a 17-year-old to be entrusted with regular starts for a Schalke side struggling near the bottom of the German second tier, with the club at their lowest ebb since multiple relegations in the 1980s, suggests that he can handle playing in a pressurised environment where fans’ patience has worn extremely thin.
Going from near the bottom of 2.Bundesliga to the upper end of the Premier League table would be quite a leap for Ouedraogo, but he certainly appears to be showing many of the qualities which’d catch the eye were he to join Liverpool.
Considering the illustrious list of clubs being linked with him, he clearly has something special about him, and his name is bound to crop up regularly in transfer discourse between now and when the window reopens in January.