Reported Liverpool target earmarked for £100m+ transfer; he’s ‘a cut above’

One Liverpool-linked defender has been touted to potentially leave his current club for a nine-figure transfer fee.

In a piece for the Liverpool Echo, Paul Gorst reported of some glowing reviews made by sources from Portugal regarding Ousmane Diomande, who’s recently emerged as a player of interest to the Reds (Daily Mail).

One observer said of the Sporting Lisbon centre-half: “He’s a cut above the rest of the centre-backs we have playing here, [even] better than Antonio Silva at Benfica. He reads play really well, wins his tackles and moves in with perfect timing. He is definitely at Champions League level already.”

Another declared: “I think he’s going to be Sporting’s next expensive sale. Sporting is going to make at least £100m with him. Mark my words.”

What is it about Diomande which has led some Portuguese sources to tout him for a £100m+ transfer in the foreseeable future?

The 20-year-old has already made a name for himself as a beast in the air, winning 71.8% of his aerial duels in the Primeira Liga so far this season (FBref). That’s an even better rate than Ibrahima Konate with 69%, and the Frenchman is known for being an aerial colossus.

The Sporting centre-back combines that no-nonsense defending with being one of the best in his position with his use of the ball, ranking among the top 7% of positional peers in Europe for pass completion (90.7%), progressive passes (5.77), progressive carries (1.4) and successful take-ons (0.58) per 90 minutes (FBref).

Diomande is currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations with host country Ivory Coast, helping his side to victory and a clean sheet in their tournament opener against Guinea-Bissau with an assured performance which saw him complete 92% of his passes (Sofascore).

He already appears to be an outstanding defender at the age of 20, and one can only wonder just how high a ceiling he might have over the coming decade when considering the levels he’s reaching now.

It doesn’t take a genius to see why Liverpool are reportedly interested in the Ivorian, and it seems certain that he’ll eventually leave Sporting for a massive transfer fee. The fact that £100m+ has even been mentioned is quite the indicator of his potential.


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