Celtic’s Moussa Dembele Could Be Man To Replace Sturridge At Liverpool

Reports suggest that Daniel Sturridge is ready to call time on his Liverpool career. The striker has only appeared nine times in the Premier League this term and he’s grabbed just two goals.

With the World Cup coming up next summer, you’d imagine that the England international will want to get more starts and goals under his belt. That might not happen at Anfield as Reds boss Jurgen Klopp seems to prefer Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the forward roles.

Philippe Coutinho has been pushed further forward at times this season and on Sunday it was Dominic Solanke who got the nod to start the Merseyside derby and even Danny Ings got a run out as Liverpool chased a win.

All in all, I think there are trust issues between Klopp and Sturridge. The German believes that Daniel’s injury issues are a big problem as he keeps picking up knocks. When that happens the manager then thinks he can’t rely on that player. The striker then feels unwanted or under-appreciated and his morale drops.

It probably makes sense for both parties to say goodbye and allow Sturridge to play elsewhere. Latest speculation has suggested he would welcome a chance to play abroad.

Let’s say that the twenty-eight year old does indeed leave Anfield in the next transfer window, that will leave a space in the squad and Klopp might feel he needs to fill it.

I also think Ings will be allowed to leave in the winter transfer window, so another forward for the run-in would be bolster team numbers and add extra competition for places.

One name that might cross Jurgen’s mind could be Celtic’s Moussa Dembele.

The young Frenchman has scored for fun in Scotland and he’s also impressed in the Champions League for the Hoops. His form has won him admirers all over Europe, with plenty of top club scouts taking in the action at Celtic Park.

Before his move to Celtic, Dembele was scoring regularly for Fulham in the English Championship as a teenage sensation and he’s since went on and represented France at Under-21 level. He’s bagged seven strikes in ten games for Les Bluets. 

At Celtic, his prolific run has seen him grab forty goals in sixty-five appearances, that includes six goals in Europe. This term he has suffered from injury woes but he’s still managed eight goals in sixteen outings.

Dembele is a striker who can play through the middle by himself but he can also link-up with any forward that plays around him. His pace and composed finishing ability will have impressed Jurgen Klopp as that’s what he likes in a forward.

The young hitman can score with either foot and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He’s also very capable in the bigger games, his record against Rangers in derby games is extremely healthy.

I don’t think Dembele would be overawed by those forwards he’d play with at Anfield. He won’t see himself as an automatic starter but he’d bet on himself to take the chances if the fell his way.

Jurgen likes to rotate his forwards and Dembele might think this could be his chance to get a place in Didier Deschamps World Cup squad.

Fee? Well I think Celtic, who won’t need to sell, would talk if a bid of £25m or more is offered. Not bad value in this market.

The stumbling block could be Celtic willingness to do business and the player himself.

The Scottish champions have other goalscorers in Leigh Griffiths, Scott Sinclair and loanee Odsonne Edouard but I believe Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers thinks Moussa is the star-man who will give his side a better balance up-front.

Celtic still being in Europe after Christmas could mean that they are more reluctant to sell their prize asset. They might fancy a run in the Europa League and having an in-form Dembele would enhance their chances.

What about the players thoughts on a deal?

As I’ve previously mentioned, he might harbour ambitions to squeeze into the Les Bleus squad that heads to Russia in June. His chances will improve if he’s starring in the English Premier League rather than the Scottish Premiership.

Liverpool are a huge club and he might see the move to Anfield as too good to turn down. Working under Jurgen Klopp would be another possible incentive as the German gaffer does give young players a chance.

Kenny Dalglish famously made the move from Parkhead to Merseyside, so many will see the allure for Dembele if the opportunity arose.

With all that being said, Moussa Dembele doesn’t seem the type to rock the boat at Celtic. He seems happy in Glasgow and enjoys playing in-front of the Celtic faithful.

The youngster seems content to wait for the right time before leaving the Hoops, he knows that he has improved under Rodgers and that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

In the end, we will only find out his intentions if Liverpool or another club puts hard cash on the table for his services and then we will see how he and Celtic react!

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