Liverpool need to sign ‘special talent’ before Pep Guardiola does as $45m release clause is disclosed

Liverpool need to sign ‘special talent’ before Pep Guardiola does as $45m release clause is disclosed

During his loan spell with Championship club Blackburn Rovers in the 2020/21 season, the Liverpool youth player Harvey Elliott excelled. Elliott scored seven goals and assisted on eleven more for Tony Mowbray’s team during his rookie season of regular men’s football.

In fact, he performed so well that by the time he returned to Liverpool for preseason the following summer, Jürgen Klopp had included him in his first-team plans.

Elliott was not, however, the most impressive teenager in the second division at the time. Michael Olise of Reading, who scored the same number of goals as his counterpart but had one more assist, was ultimately named the Championship’s Young Player of the Season.

Olise, who was also named to the PFA Team of the Year, drew interest from Liverpool and a number of elite European clubs, including Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Napoli, and Monaco (via TeamTalk).

In the end, however, the Frenchman signed with Crystal Palace, and he has since appeared to be a tremendous success for the Eagles.

In 63 Premier League appearances, he has tallied only four times, but he has assisted on an impressive 16 goals. Last season, his 11 assists placed him third in the league, behind only Mohamed Salah (12) and Kevin de Bruyne (16), and seventh in all of Europe’s top five divisions.

Olise also ranked in the top 10 for expected assists on goals (8.7), indicating that he created high-quality opportunities and did not rely solely on exceptional execution.

After establishing himself as one of the premier rising talents in the league, he has earned seven caps for France’s under-21s and was selected for the European Championships squad last month. He is a strong candidate to join the senior side in the near future.

Indeed, Olise was selected as the Player’s Player of the Season at Selhurst Park, which comes as no surprise when reading such effusive praise from teammate Joel Ward.

Using football.london, he remarked, “Michael is a special talent.” “The world is his oyster, and he’s growing better and better with each game, so I expect him to reach new heights and set the standard. If he continues in this manner, he will accomplish extraordinary feats.

“They [Olise and teammate Eberechi Eze] certainly make my life easier when I can simply pass the ball to them and let them perform their magic!”

Olise’s $45 million (£35 million/€40 million) release clause has prompted Chelsea and Manchester City to target him as a transfer target for this summer (via Fabrizio Romano).

French publication RMC Sport asserts that Chelsea has already made an offer worth more than that — $50m (£39m/€45m) — in an attempt to outbid Manchester City.

Is there a case for Liverpool to rejoin the competition and counter this offer? It is important to note that Olise would be a very different type of winger than Salah.

Yes, he is a one-on-one threat like the Egyptian, ranking tenth in the league for successful take-ons (54) last season, but he is a superior wide creator than wide scorer.

Only Trent Alexander-Arnold (252) and Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier (195) attempted more crosses than his total of 242 in 2022/23.

If Olise were to appear, he would be labeled as Salah’s long-term successor, and Liverpool would evolve by shifting the goalscoring burden away from the winger and onto a well-supplied number nine like Darwin Nez.

Important to note is that he would not be able to make an immediate impact, as manager Roy Hodgson has ruled him out for the foreseeable future due to a’serious’ hamstring injury that required surgery (via Evening Standard).

Initial estimates suggested he could be sidelined for up to three months (according to The Athletic), and while that is a concern, it is a setback that could be swiftly forgotten if he fulfills his potential.

Liverpool has already expressed interest in Olise’s teammate Cheick Doucouré, who is reportedly valued at $90 million (£70 million/€81 million), as it seeks to cover a vacancy at number six (via The Mail).

Perhaps the Reds should contemplate an audacious double raid and rectify the mistake they made two years ago by failing to acquire Olise.

Liverpool need to sign ‘special talent’ before Pep Guardiola does as $45m release clause is disclosed