Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf have today reported that Liverpool hold serious interest in PSV Eindhoven youngster Zakaria Bakkali and plan to make a move in the summer.
He has been the subject of much interest from clubs across Europe, most notably Real Madrid, after scoring a hat-trick against NEC Nijmegen earlier this season.
Below we take a closer look at the player:
- Belgian footballer of Moroccan descent
- Can play as a winger or second striker
- Most famous for becoming the youngest Eredivisie player of all-time to score a hat-trick, at the age of 17 years and 196 days.
- Regular scorer in the Belgian youth system, scoring 7 goals in 9 appearances for the Belgian U17 national side which saw him catapulted to the U21s
- After a superb Champions League debut, he was selected for Belgum's senior 25-man squad in the friendly against France but had to pull out of the squad after sustaining injury in training the day before the match
- Formerly part of the youth set up at R.F.C. de Liege and later Standard Liege
Bakkalli sounds like a very interesting prospect and despite his young age Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has shown that he is willing to give inexperienced players a chance in the first-team. The likes of Raheem Sterling and John Flanagan are testament to that.
Playing as a winger he will provide competition for Sterling who is the Reds' only true wide-man. From the video above Bakkali would appear to be comfortable on either foot so could play on the left and right flank in a 4-3-3 formation and has an eye for goal, which will be important for Rogders who wants his midfielders to get goals so that they are shared around the team.
If Liverpool can secure his signature then they may just have quite the player on their hands. Whether his arrival is a cheaper alternative to Yehven Konoplyanka, a similar style of player, remains to be seen should the Anfield club end their pursuit of the Ukrainian who came so close to joining in January.
Do you think Liverpool will buy Zakaria Bakkali and can he have a similar impact as Raheem Sterling?