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As Their Odds For The Title Start To Drift, Should Liverpool Try To Accommodate Jadon Sancho?

With the festive season fast approaching, Premier League fans are already starting to turn their attention to the January transfer market. The rumour mill is slowly beginning to churn out a stream of tenuous tittle-tattle as players from clubs across Europe are suddenly linked with a move to the English top flight. Jadon Sancho is likely to be frequently mentioned over the next couple of months and the Bundesliga star is attracting interest from the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool. The Englishman would fit perfectly into the Reds’ fluid system, but would the talented 18-year old realistically be able to contribute in a meaningful way to Liverpool’s quest to win their 19th top tier title while continuing his development at Anfield?

Sancho’s recent emergence has been one of the stories of the season so far and unsurprisingly, his call-up to the England squad has seen his name linked with a number of Premier League clubs. Gareth Southgate has called for the media to resist over-hyping the teenager, despite him becoming the ninth youngest player to make his debut for the Three Lions. He is also just the third debutante to have been given a cap despite having never featured in the English Football League system. He came off the bench against Croatia to replace Raheem Sterling during England’s recent Nations League match against the World Cup finalists and described his call-up as the “biggest thing that could happen” to a player like him.

Flourishing in the Bundesliga

His form at Borussia Dortmund this season has been outstanding despite only starting one game for the current Bundesliga leaders. He’s off the mark for the campaign and has also notched up six assists so far. He showed flashes of his ability towards the end of the last season with one goal and four assists in twelve appearances. He’s been involved in a goal every half hour and with just 214 minutes under his belt by the international break, Lucien Favre is carefully managing the 18-year-old and it appears to be paying off.

Sancho is clearly enjoying his football in North Rhine-Westphalia and with his side in sensational form, he appears to be in the perfect place. Dortmund won five of their seven matches going into the second International Break of the campaign, they had a four point advantage over the champions, Bayern Munich which has now been cut to 2 points as Sancho has now scored 4 Bundesliga goals and added another in the Champions League. He boasts an 85% pass success rate in the Bundesliga so far this campaign and has also proved competent in the UEFA Champions League with an assist against Monaco at the beginning of October to go with his one goal.

Sancho is one of a number of English youngsters who ply their trade in the Bundesliga: Mandela Egbo has featured regularly for Borussia Monchengladbach this season and he was joined by fellow Londoner Reece Oxford last year. Everton’s Ademola Lookman also enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at RB Leipzig last season before returning to Merseyside in the summer.

Sancho decided to move to Germany in order to enhance his first-team opportunities and that gamble appears to be paying off. He began his youth career at Watford in 2007 before heading north to sign for the Manchester City academy. Despite impressing for the Citizens and being promised opportunities to train with the first team, he wasn’t included in any of the pre-season tours and decided to continue his development elsewhere.

Transfer Tug-0f-War

Liverpool will face a real battle to secure his signature but Jurgen Klopp is believed to be a big admirer of the teenager. Quotes of £100 million have been touted around, with Dortmund believed to be using the Ousmane Dembele transfer as a barometer for a potential deal. The winger left the club in August 2017 in a deal believed to be worth £120 million, signing a five-year contract with the Catalan behemoths.

The player himself has admitted that he is “stunned” by the figures quoted in the media but laughed off any links with a return to the Premier League. Despite his amazement, as reported by the Manchester Evening News Sancho has not completely written off the possibility of leaving Borussia Dortmund saying, “I don’t know. It’s the future. You never know what could happen, so we wait and see”. However, he later admitted that he enjoys playing under Lucien Favre and thanked the Frenchman for “trusting and believing in him”.

Naturally, many Liverpool fans have urged their club to make the transfer happen with many Reds supporters expressing their excitement at being linked with one of Europe’s hottest properties. Some supporters have suggested that Sancho could potentially replace Sadio Mane in the starting eleven. Liverpool’s squad is already full of quality, with many players unable to secure regular game-time so far this season. The return of Adam Lallana from injury gives Jurgen Klopp yet another selection headache to overcome, while summer signing Fabinho has been largely restricted to appearances in the Carabao Cup having only made one League appearance so far and Xherdan Shaqiri has played a part in only 6 League games.

Jurgen Klopp would relish the chance to raid his former employers and bring Jadon Sancho to Anfield but the Bundesliga-star is unlikely to make the switch this season. He would need to be guaranteed some game-time and with Liverpool’s current front three in decent form, he may struggle to displace any of the potent trio. Sadio Mane’s injury record is a slight concern for Liverpool fans and Jadon Sancho is certainly regarded as a potential long-term upgrade, however, the Senegalese does have the habit of stepping up for the big occasion and must retain his place in the eleven for now. Some have suggested Mo Salah’s recent dip in form could potentially open the door for Sancho but the Egyptian is a hugely popular figure amongst supporters following his sensational debut season on Merseyside and Salah trusted by his manager so is highly unlikely to be pushed to the bench by the precocious youngster.

Liverpool have enjoyed a successful start to the 2018-19 campaign and remain unbeaten in the Premier League so far as they prepare to face Arsenal this weekend. Going into October’s International break, they were level on points with leaders Manchester City and boasted the league’s joint best defensive record. Now after playing 2 more rounds of League fixtures Liverpool remain tied with Man City at the top on points but are actually in 2nd place as City now have an 8 goal advantage in goal difference after City’s 1-0 away win over Tottenham at Wembley. Jurgen Klopp’s side were available at 9-4 but they are now at 11/4 to lift the Premier League title this season with Bet365 whereas Man City are 4/9 to retain their title with Bet365. Clearly Pep Guardiola’s men are viewed by the bookmakers as the massive favourites as their odds are shortening while Chelsea on the other hand are drifting out despite Maurizio Sarri’s side being the only other team given a realistic chance of claiming the title. Perhaps a more tempting wager is for the Reds to go unbeaten throughout the Premier League campaign, available at 20/1 with William Hill. You can take advantage of many of these best bets and use the sign-up offers detailed on the Oddschecker website to find the best odds out there for just about any bet you are considering using either the app or the mobile/desktop site.

Liverpool’s Other Transfer Target

Despite their summer splurge, Liverpool are looking to strengthen further in January and are also reportedly keeping an eye on PSV’s Steven Bergwijn. The Dutchman has reportedly been watched by a number of scouts this season as the Eindhoven side continue their impressive start to the Eredivisie campaign. He played a full 90 minutes against Inter in the Champions League earlier in the month and was impressive throughout. The wide-man is a versatile performer who has already netted five times this campaign and has continually caught the eye.

He was also named in the Netherlands squad for their recent fixtures against Germany and Belgium. Jurgen Klopp is reportedly interested in the 21-year-old and believes that he would be an excellent addition to the squad. He can play on the left- or the right-hand side and his versatility is one of his biggest assets. He boasts an 82% pass success rate this campaign and has four assists in just eight Eredivisie appearances. He doesn’t have a natural inclination to get back and help his side defend but that is something that can be gradually introduced to his game.

Fans are understandably excited to see their side linked with a move for Jadon Sancho although any transfer isn’t likely to materialise this season. Jurgen Klopp could potentially use his connections in Dortmund to jump the queue in a bid to secure a deal for the much-coveted Englishman. His style would fit perfectly into Liverpool’s current system but he is unlikely to make the switch if he isn’t guaranteed regular first-team football. The Reds could easily accommodate Jadon Sancho but he may need another season or two in the Bundesliga before making the move to the Premier League. Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are regulars in the Liverpool starting eleven but if Sancho joins the club, their places will be under threat from one of Europe’s most-wanted players and if his career so far this season is anything to go by then there is little doubt that the 18-year-old would hit the ground running if he made the move to Merseyside.