Liverpool don't make many mistakes in the transfer market, but missing out on the ex-Barcelona wonder-kid might be one.
Playing some of the most attractive football in Europe, blessed with an outstanding fan base and a charismatic coach – and now a Champions League title in their trophy cabinet – Liverpool should be a dream destination for many a promising youngster these days.
And Takefusa Kubo, for one, made it clear that he would have happily jumped at the chance to follow in the footsteps of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino under the steely yet genial gaze of Jurgen Klopp.
"The team I think play the most interesting football is Liverpool," the most exciting talent in Asian football told Goal recently.
"I feel they are awesome when I watch their games. It’s not really to say they are my ‘favourite’, but more like ‘awesome’.”
So this begs the question; why on earth did Liverpool not take a punt on a player with all the potential to be one of the world’s most thrilling forwards?
A one-time Barcelona wonder-kid who posted some rather remarkable statistics during his time at La Masia, all the while earning rather inevitable comparisons with a certain Mr Messi, Kubo is instead on his way back to Spain with Real Madrid.
As reported by the BBC, Los Blancos have added the 18-year-old to their substantial summer rebuild, paying around £2 million for "one of the most promising young players in the world.”
With the right coaching, there’s no telling where Kubo can go from here.
And it seems strangely negligent for Liverpool’s usually reliable scouting department, who have unearthed so many rough diamonds in the Klopp era, to let Kubo pass them by.
Especially given that he made his adoration for the Merseyside giants so very public.
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