xGOLD: Finding the next Mo Salah for Liverpool to track

xGOLD: Finding the next Mo Salah for Liverpool to track

The methodology

  • Liverpool FC (hypothetically) are looking to track players who could be a long-term replacement for Mohamed Salah
  • We ran our unique xGOLD tool
  • xGOLD told us the best metrical matches for Salah from the preferred markets and leagues
  • Our team of experienced analysts sanity checked the initial matches, ruling out any players that do not meet the exact requirements

Below, you will find an explanation of Salah's profile and the players that meet the expected profile, generated by our unique xGOLD tool.

The shortlist

#3 Diego Rossi - LAFC

22-year-old Uruguayan forward who tends to play in the left of the attack for LAFC in the MLS. Rossi is a dynamic forward player who is right-footed and plays primarily from the left. With that said, however, he displays a clear tendency to attack inside and operate in the half-space where his creativity and intelligence stands out.

Rossi is dangerous when making delayed runs from out to in and interlinks very well with teammate Carlos Vela who makes movements off of the front line to create the space that Rossi can attack. Rossi is strong when finishing from angles in and around the penalty area and favours a nuanced finish across the face of the goalkeeper. He also has the ability to find angles for passes and combinations even when moving at top speed across the pitch and when pressured by opposition players.

Rossi is ready now for a move to a top 5 European league and would not look out of place at a side in the Champions League.

#2 Andres Dreyer - Midtjylland

22-year-old Danish wide attacker who is currently on the books of Midtjylland in the Danish Superliga. Dreyer was previously on the books at Brighton, a side with a tendency to identify and recruit promising young talent, but then moved back to Denmark for regular first-team football. He is left-footed but likes to play from the right of the attack so that he can come inside.

Dreyer is a very intelligent football player with the understanding of how and when to occupy space in the final third. You will often see him making a run at an angle to support the forward when he was in possession of the ball and his ability to finish from inside or outside of the box makes him a threat. Dreyer can carry the ball and attack opposition defenders 1v1 extremely well but is also a good crosser with a dangerous delivery. He is also a threat from direct free-kicks and corners.

Dreyer will move soon to a major league and when he does his profile will likely quickly explode. He represents value in the market now.

#1 Dejan Kulusevski - Juventus

20-year-old Swedish attacker who has recently joined Juventus from rivals Atalanta. The young wide player spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Parma where his goals and assists saw him become a key attacking player at the club and this earned him a move to Juventus. He is left-footed but can finish very well on his right. This is displayed in what has become something of a trademark goal from the young Swede as he cuts in from the left and then curls the ball across to the far corner of the goal and past the goalkeeper.

He has the intelligence to play almost any role in the final third and is equally dangerous when running at and isolating defensive players and when receiving the ball in tight spaces with his back to goal. He manipulates the ball well and has the ability to beat players in groups of 2 or 3. He is a creative force who finds interesting angles to access the penalty area and reads the runs of his teammates very well.

He may struggle to get regular game time this coming season at Juventus and may be available as a bargain loan player.

Conclusion

The three players identified by xGOLD are interesting options if Liverpool were to start monitoring players who could replace Mo Salah in the not-too-distant future.

These players were found using the xGOLD system and then sanity-checked by our team of experienced analysts to make sure that what the metrics told us equalled what we could see on the pitch ourselves - the perfect blend of cutting edge data analysis and traditional scouting methods.

For more information on how xGOLD could add value to your scouting methodology, feel free to contact chris@totalfootballanalysis.com to arrange a call.

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