In the Premier League, the level of competition is so high that only a certain standard of player is good enough. This is a common issue for the teams in the league, with the pool of players good enough to thrive often being quite small. It also means that many of the elite clubs are shopping in the same markets, which can cause the price of a player to absolutely explode.
That is very exciting for media and fans, but no so much for players and clubs negotiating deals. However, when a player has the talent of Ajax starlet Anthony, it is clear to see why so many teams burst a gut to sign them. It also makes it easy to understand why some teams are happy to break the bank to land a player they covet. If it stops a rival getting the player, then even better.
Liverpool fans have been watching with mild trepidation at the rebuild going on at Manchester United. Former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag has his eye on a host of Ajax and ex-Ajax players, the Brazilian winger chief among them. However, reports suggest that Liverpool could sneak ahead of United – just as they did for Darwin Nunez – to land the hotshot young Brazilian.
A recent report suggested that United are backing away from doing the deal. The fee of around €70m is deemed too much, and that the focus will instead be on midfield and defence as opposed to a new forward signing. Now, reports also suggest that Liverpool have been speaking to Anthony and his representatives about moving to Merseyside ahead of Manchester.
Liverpool are ‘coming strong’ for the player, and that if the terms can be agreed that Anthony will be wearing red in August.
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While having the likes of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz might strike fear into the hearts of opposition, you can never have too many good players. Anthony would fit in with the Samba culture of the team, and would also be a good choice to sign now. He could bed himself into the team, as Diaz did last year, and have time to grow into the role of a Liverpool player.
While Sadio Mane was eventually sold, giving Diaz free reign to his spot on the left, Anthony has many characteristics like Mo Salah. If Salah does move on in the summer of 2023, despite signing a new deal, or even in 2024, it would mean that Liverpool have his ready-made replacement already at the club and hopefully thriving.
However, reports in Holland also contradict some of this information: they state that United are still willing negotiators, and that ten Hag is seen as the key difference between choosing one club or the other. If Liverpool can beat United to the punch, though, they would land two of the best young South Americans in the world in the one summer – that would be some way to recover from the pain of the summer of 2022.