Although Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp may have already found the “next Sadio Mané,” the Reds will probably have to wait a bit before making a transfer.
Sadio Mané is no longer a member of the Liverpool team, and as he stated earlier this week: it feels strange.
Without him, Liverpool will be without an attacker who made 259 appearances, scored 120 goals, and was the Reds’ first ‘transformational’ signing under Jürgen Klopp.
And it necessitates the development of a long-term strategy for their forward line, not the least of which is the unsettling possibility that Mohamed Salah will leave the club after this season.
The Salah-Mané-Firmino front three has been replaced by Luis Dáz and Darwin Núñez, who came before them. Evolution has started, but it will undoubtedly continue.
This means that while Darwin Núñez for Mané was the trade this summer, there will be more attacking arrivals in the next transfer windows, and there are high aspirations for players like Kaide Gordon as they progress through the Academy system.
Another young player that Liverpool has kept an eye on and undoubtedly will continue to do so is Jérémy Doku, who is only 20 years old and currently has a Transfermarkt value of £18 million. In 2018, they made a pretty serious attempt to entice him to join them.
Doku, who was 16 at the time, apparently spent some time visiting Melwood with Mané and Gini Wijnaldum. Doku Senior later recalled how the man who would have been Doku’s Junior coach at the U18s level, Steven Gerrard, showed him tactical videos as part of the pitch. He also had a conversation with Jürgen Klopp, who allegedly told him that he could actually be the new Mané.
With the Belgian then at Anderlecht, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Ajax, and PSV were all interested as well. However, the Belgian ultimately chose Rennes as his next destination, which seems like a logical next step given that Rennes is where players like Raphinha and Ismala Sarr were developed before moving on to bigger things.
He was unable to progress last season due to injuries, but the talent is still there. Even though he only scored twice in 18 games last season, those numbers might — and should — rise going forward.
This summer’s business for Liverpool is probably over. However, given that the Reds and their manager, Klopp, are already big admirers of Doku, this may be something to keep an eye on in the future.
Liverpool has a history of going back for long-term objectives after missing out the first time, and should Doku eventually live up to his potential, they may do so once again.
Doku would not even have to wait until next summer as he is only 20 years old. Raphinha’s move to Leeds United is a fantastic example of how he might make more than one move before reaching the very top.
Doku, a gifted Belgian forward, is still someone to watch in the interim because Liverpool typically signs players who are three to four years older than he is right now.