A former Red believes a promising English winger needs to show more “consistency” in order to earn a big-money move to Anfield
John Barnes has welcomed the prospect of Jadon Sancho arriving at Liverpool this summer, but says the Borussia Dortmund star would have to be content with a bit-part role in Jurgen Klopp’s side at this stage of his career.
The 19-year-old has racked up 34 appearances across all competitions, scoring 17 goals, while attracting plenty more attention from some of the world’s biggest clubs.
A move to the Premier League has been mooted for the England international when the transfer market reopens, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all reported to be interested in his services.
Despite his tender age, Sancho is reportedly already being valued at around £100 million ($129m), which means the Reds would have to smash their transfer record in order to lure him away from Westfalenstadion.
Barnes is not certain the teenage winger has justified such a price tag yet, and doesn’t think he would slot straight into Liverpool’s line-up given the fact Klopp already has Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino at his disposal up front.
The Anfield legend told BonusCodeBets: “If Jadon Sancho is willing to come to Liverpool and not play every week and sit on the bench, then absolutely he should come to Liverpool. But I always tell young players to be careful and play at a high level for four-five years before moving to a bigger club.
“Salah and Mane have been around for four or five seasons now and have shown their quality and experience, whereas Sancho has been around for 18 months and needs to show that consistency over a three-year period before he costs £100 million to a huge club. That doesn’t happen in modern football anymore, nowadays, if you are young and have just one good season, someone is going to spend £80 million-plus on you.
“I would advise Jadon Sancho to develop more and show that level of consistency before he is going to be put under a lot of pressure by being a £100 million player playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
One man Barnes does feel is capable of forcing his way into Liverpool’s front three is RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who has made no secret of his admiration for the Merseyside outfit.
The 24-year-old has hit 21 goals in 25 Bundesliga outings for Julian Nagelsmann’s side this term, and is expected to move on to pastures new later in the year.
“Timo Werner would be good competition for Mane or Salah,” said Barnes. “It is more of a question about keeping the current group of players rather than going to sign new players.
“In football, it is likely that a team could lose some of the players in the summer, you never know what is going to happen.
“Right now, I would be thinking about forgetting the plans for the summer and focus on winning the league this year and finish the season strong, and then worry about what is going to happen in the summer.”
Liverpool are currently gearing up for a Champions League last-16 second-leg showdown against Atletico Madrid, as they aim to win Europe’s top prize for a second successive year.
The Premier League title will almost certainly be heading to Anfield come May, with only two wins standing between the Reds and an elusive piece of silverware, and Barnes is of the opinion that domestic glory is more important than continental success.
“Liverpool have not won the Premier League in over 30 years,” he added. “Last year, beating Barcelona and winning the Champions League was a bonus.
“I would take winning the Premier League over the Champions League every single time. Winning the Premier League for Liverpool will be absolutely immense.”