COMMENT By Championship correspondent Tom Blackburn
Young, talented and with an eye for goal, the second Moussa Dembele to make his name at Fulham has been targeted by the leading Premier League clubs this summer.
Football Insider reported on Friday that Arsenal had joined Liverpool and Tottenham in the race to sign Dembele.
He has been a player in demand ever since Fulham prised him as a 16-year-old from France, where his touch, athleticism and pace had led to him being dubbed the next Thierry Henry.
The skilful youngster’s contract expires at the end of the month and, despite an offer on the table from Fulham, he is likely to move on.
This is where Liverpool should thrust their way to the front of a queue. Dembele has the clinical qualities not always apparent in the roster of front men at Anfield and, crucially, the capacity to improve.
He could be the kind of player who could help Jurgen Klopp’s emerging team challenge and even win the league. He is that good.
The 19-year-old smashed in 17 goals in all competitions for Fulham this season and was on the verge of a move to Tottenham in January before the deal collapsed at the 11th hour after he had undergone a medical.
Liverpool are looking to revitalise their attacking options, and should cash in on Christian Benteke who never looks likely to fit into Klopp’s system.
The arrival of Dembele would also allow Danny Ings to head out on loan and potentially find some form and fitness after such a long time out with injury.
Sturridge struck for England on Thursday against Wales, but there are major doubts surrounding his ability to avoid injury for a sustained period of time.
With this in mind they should pull out all stops to land Dembele and be willing to trust in a clinical finisher who will surely blossom into one of Europe’s top strikers over the next five years.
Tottenham have yet to re-establish their interest in the youngster but were expected to be hopeful of securing his signature once his Fulham contract expired.
Dembele is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the Championship and the Belgian reportedly has the pick of at least seven clubs this summer.
In other Liverpool news, they have made a key decision in their pursuit of the “new Neymar”.