According to the latest reports, Liverpool are said to be interested in signing Wolves forward Pedro Neto.
The Portuguese youngster effectively replaced Liverpool-linked Diogo Jota for Wolves last season, and despite the Midlands side struggling in the Premier League last season, Neto has become one of their best players.
Liverpool would have liked what they saw of the 21-year-old and would like to bring him to Anfield. However, Neto suffered a serious knee injury in April in the 1-0 away win over Fulham, and is expected to be out for the next few months.
This could deter Liverpool from signing the player this summer, which could be a blessing in disguise.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané are now preparing to start their fifth season as the undisputed starting line in attack for Liverpool. All three are approaching their 30e birthdays, and they’ve each put in a lot of yards to propel the club to the top echelons of the club game.
Liverpool have yet to recruit players of sufficient quality to realistically challenge any of the top three for a starting place. Xherdan Shaqiri has transformed into a team player, who dust off his boots to make occasional outings in Carabao Cup and FA Cup matches, just like Divock Origi.
Only Jota, who arrived a year ago, has proven to be a competitive challenger against Mané, Firmino and Salah. Still, it’s clear that with the club in four competitions each season and plenty of games to go, adding depth to the offensive department is a necessity. Neto’s ability to play in any position in the top three would appeal to Jürgen Klopp more.
The club may well decide that 2021/22 will be the last season of the Mané, Firmino and Salah triumvirate as we know it. It seems likely they won’t all be clear starters beyond this season, and one or even two of them could be allowed to leave – with the Brazilian being the most likely exit.
With Neto unlikely to regain his top form for months on end, it would make sense to delay his arrival for a season. This has the added benefit of allowing Salah, Mané and Firmino one final swan song campaign to add more trophies to their time at the club, further cementing their legacy at Anfield. Meanwhile, Neto can continue playing Wolves for a year, where he is guaranteed to play every week once he returns from injury. He can refine his game, set to join Liverpool in the summer of 2022 as a top player.
Moreover, delaying a transfer for Neto would allow the club to invest in other areas of the pitch where signings are arguably more urgent, such as the center midfielder and right-back. Moreover, given Neto’s relatively young age, Liverpool are expected to submit a significant bid to lure Wolves into a sale. With finances affected by the Covid, waiting a year to bring him to the club also makes monetary sense.
Between the injury, the money and the existing top three, a delayed transfer from Liverpool to Neto makes a lot of sense.