Liverpool started their business in the summer transfer window well, signing Fulham youngster Fabio Carvalho but now look set to lose their star winger Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich before the window closes, and could come second in the race to sign his replacement Dembele to rivals Chelsea as both teams look to rebuild their squads.
The Reds have been linked with a move for the French international after they failed to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League final and amid the speculation over the futures of Mane and Salah, with the latter deciding to stay on for another season and leave for a free next summer.
O’Rourke spoke about the potential signing on Touchline Talk, but revealed he believes it is more likely Dembele ends up in Chelsea colours under his former boss at Borussia Dortmund, Thomas Tuchel, rather than joining Jurgen Klopp’s side.
He said: “I’d love to see Ousmane Dembele here, he’s such an exciting player and he’s still young, he’s 25. He definitely hasn’t been able to hit the heights we would have loved to have seen from him at Barca. It was a big transfer from him from Dortmund and it just hasn’t paid off, but there’s still life there, still a lot of drive. Personally, I think it’s more likely Chelsea than Liverpool.”
TIF Thoughts on O’Rourke’s comments…
It will be a blow for Liverpool not to sign Dembele as he has produced this season after a rocky start, especially as they look likely to lose a key starter in Mane in the coming window. While they still have the likes of Luis Diaz and Jota in their ranks, it would be nice to get a direct replacement for the Senegal star for squad depth and his evident quality.
As mentioned, the Frenchman had a rocky start to the season and it seemed Barcelona did not want him at the club, but despite this, he made 21 appearances with 15 starts, bagging two goals and 13 assists in that time – which he led the entire La Liga division in.
He showed his attacking prowess by averaging 1.8 shots, 1.7 key passes, 2.5 dribbles, and 1.2 crosses with an 82.4% pass accuracy (WhoScored). He also ranked in the 99th percentile for assists, expected assists, progressive carries and dribbles completed, according to FBRef.
There is no doubt Liverpool will once again battle for the Premier League title next season even if they do not sign Dembele, as Diaz and Jota have both shown their potential this term. But losing out on him to a direct rival will not sit well with Liverpool brass and Klopp.
Who should Dembele sign for?