Virgil van Dijk can help Liverpool sign next Sadio Mané after ‘unplayable’ Champions League game
The journey through the M62 is not a long journey for the Liverpool scouts, although Old Trafford represents a hostile setting even when undercover. On Wednesday night, despite being on enemy ground, there was a lot to admire for Liverpool’s eventuality at Old Trafford.
The player under surveillance, Arnaut Danjuma, caught the eye with an electric performance giving United right-back Diogo Dalot a game he will want to forget. Danjuma’s skyrocketing advance and boisterous energy caused many problems for United’s high line.
He was unlucky not to score, with David De Gea making two vital saves against the Dutchman.
It was Danjuma’s perpetual ability to run behind United’s defense that created the disarray and ultimately led Villareal to take the lead as Danjuma burst into the box and played a smart ball into Paco Alcacer for a tap. -in.
In total, Danjuma made five dribbles, three crosses and nine touches in United’s penalty area as well as four progressive points according to Wyscout in a performance that made BT expert Owen Hargreaves sing his praises.
“Danjuma has been fantastic, Mason Greenwood has to help Dalot,” said Hargreaves.
“Danjuma one-on-one he’s almost quite unplayable and got the better of Dalot in those situations.”
The Netherlands international, who plays alongside Van Dijk internationally, was a reported target for Liverpool this summer, and although the Reds opted not to sign him from Bournemouth, Danjuma is still on their radar after a start to impressive life in Villareal.
He currently averages 0.66 goals for 90 in all competitions and 0.22 assists, which is close to a goal contribution every 90 minutes so far.
If Danjuma can maintain similar levels throughout the season, he will be an enticing proposition for Liverpool.
The right-handed left winger has undertones of Sadio Mané in his style of play. He is excellent in one-on-one fights and like Mané, he likes to cut back on the inside and is comfortable playing as a winger. inverted.
His ability to find space in the box and touch frequently in the opposing half of the field is also a hallmark of Klopp’s wingers. This season, he’s averaging 6.84 hits in the box for 90. Salah averaged 5.86 hits for 90, Jota 4.9, Firmino 4.41 and Mané 6.96 this season.
Danjuma is also adept at moving the ball forward and is able to unleash attacks and break through opposition lines by simply dribbling through them of the same ilk as Mané.
Last season he averaged 0.73 league goals and played numerous roles in the top three for Bournemouth, including on both flanks and in a central role.
Danjuma has already played as a center forward and left winger for Villareal during his short stay at the club. His versatility will be another facet that Klopp will admire. Not to mention his 5.86 average pressure for 90 in the opposition’s final third via FBref is well suited to Liverpool gegenpress. For example, Mané averages 4.55 pressures for 90 in the last third of the opposition this season.
He still needs to improve his defensive success rate with an average of just 0.69 tackles and interceptions for 90, which is almost 1.0 below Mané’s average. However, his 2019/20 Premier League figures suggest he is capable of improving with Danjuma averaging 1.57 steals and tackles for 90 this season.
Villareal scooped Danjuma for just £ 21million this summer. They will seek to make their investment profitable next summer. But if Danjuma continues to garner attention, he might be worth it.
The Dutchman is a winger capable of contributing in front of goal and making an impact on the game even as a substitute. He has scored two goals off the bench for Villareal this season.
But Danjuma isn’t just someone who can improve the depth of the club; his record over the past two seasons suggests he could become an heir to Sadio Mané in the future.