Liverpool transfers: Reds have every incentive to sign £86m sensation

Liverpool are gradually finding every incentive to sign Sporting CP sensation Viktor Gyokeres. The Swede has been unreal this season.

Liverpool are heavily linked with Ruben Amorim right now - the Sporting CP manager feels like the best candidate to take over from Jurgen Klopp this year. That, naturally, sees the Reds linked with plenty of Sporting players.

We've seen Goncalo Inaco and Ousmane Diomande - perhaps the most natural targets. Morten Hjulmand has had linked, too, while Marcus Edwards is a particularly exciting rumour.

One player we haven't seen too much talk around is Viktor Gyokeres - but maybe we should. There are plenty of suggestions that other Premier League teams want him, Chelsea and Arsenal, in particular.

But the more we see this season, the more it feels like Liverpool should be involved.

Viktor Gyokeres and Liverpool

The headline stats for Gyokeres are clear: 33 goals across Liga Portugal, the UEFA Europa League and Taca de Portugal. You can add 12 assists to that, too - a simply remarkable record.

But go under the hood a bit and you see why Liverpool might be particularly interested. Gyokeres has four more goals than his xG suggests he should have in the league this season. It highlights just how strong his finishing has been - especially when compared to Liverpool's forwards.

Now, Diogo Jota is an incredible finisher and the stats show that. He's three goals ahead of his xG in the Premier League, while Mohamed Salah matches his own xG with 17 goals.

Luis Diaz, however, is three goals below his expected number of goals. Darwin Nunez is four below his. Then there's Cody Gakpo, who is matching his xG but with just six goals - he simply doesn't get enough scoring chances.

Viktor Gyokeres

March 17, 2024, Lisbon, Portugal: Viktor Gyokeres of Sporting CP celebrates a goal with Daniel Braganca during the Liga Portugal Betclic match between Sporting CP and Boavista FC at Estadio Jose Alvalade. Lisbon Portugal - ZUMAs197 20240317_aaa_s197_397 Copyright: xHenriquexCasinhasx

Yes, Liverpool have scored for fun this season but as we've seen in recent weeks, it's not consistent. They'll have a run of scoring every chance and then a run of struggling badly. Jota is by far the most lethal finisher - but he's also the one who misses the most games.

And so whoever the new manager is, they'll face a decision. They can either back the forwards to click and start finishing their chances consistently, or they can try to find someone who can.

Amorim, if he is to be the next manager, knows a striker who can score goals consistently and he knows how to get those goals out of him. He also knows that striker is almost certainly on the move - with an £86m release clause, no less - and wants to play for him.

Amorim and Gyokeres

Here's what Gyokeres's agent said about his move to Sporting:

“Everyone was waiting for Viktor to sign with a Premier League club. And the answer to that question is that I brought Viktor to Sporting for just one reason, and this is also something I said to Mr Amorim when I saw him for the first time, and I said it before I even said hello to him: I only brought my player here because of you. Therefore, I only brought Gyökeres to Sporting because of Rúben Amorim.

“They asked me: ‘How can you do this, say no to all these Premier League clubs and take him to Sporting?’ Therefore, I planned this to happen like this because of Rúben Amorim, his strategy, how he plays, how he develops players. And he also knew how much Amorim wanted him. It was like a passion for him.”

He's a player who wants to play for Amorim and knows his game is better for it. If Liverpool do hire Amorim and ultimately decide to move for a goalscorer, they'll have an overwhelming advantage in any race for Gyokeres.

And it's possibly an advantage they should take.

All stats per Whoscored.

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