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Liverpool: Reds target Philipp Max also wanted by Barcelona

Liverpool: Reds target Philipp Max also wanted by Barcelona - NON-NEWSNOW

Liverpool’s interest in Augsburg defender Philipp Max is shared by La Liga champions Barcelona, according to reports from Spain.

Spanish outlet Sport reported that the two clubs were interested in the 25-year-old, whose club have set an asking price of €20million (£18m).

According to Sport, Barcelona look set to drop their interest in €35m (£31.5m)-rated Junior Firpo of Real Betis, who had also been linked with Liverpool by Sport recently.

The German left-back, who was in Augsburg’s squad when they met Liverpool in the Europa League in 2016, has a decent scoring record for a defender and has recorded some fantastic assists tallies in recent seasons.

He ended last season with four goals and seven assists in all competitions, having scored twice and clocked up 13 assists in the previous campaign. In the 2017/18 Bundesliga, his tally of 12 assists was second only to Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich.

He played 34 games in both seasons, giving him averages of 0.12 goals and 0.21 assists per game in 2018/19 and 0.06 goals and 0.38 assists per game in 2017/18.

That was the same assists tally achieved by Andrew Robertson last season in 48 games (0.27 assists per game; he didn’t score), with the Scotland defender scoring once and providing five assists in 28 matches in his first year at Anfield in 2017/18 (0.04 goals and 0.18 assists per game).

Firpo played 29 times for Real Betis in 2018/19, scoring three goals (0.1 per game) and registering five assists (0.17 per game). In 14 appearances the previous season, he scored twice (0.14 per game) and had zero assists.

Max’s ability to get forward and supply ammunition for the forwards is reflected in his crossing average of 1.9 per game. This is streets ahead of Firpo’s match average of 0.3 crosses and it also leaves Robertson in the shade, with the Liverpool man averaging 0.6 crosses per game (as per WhoScored).

Although the German is excellent going forward, he can be very careless in possession, which as a defender is a worrying trait when giving the ball away in one’s own half.

Max has a passing success rate of just 71.8%, which lags a long way behind Firpo’s 82.9% and Robertson’s 83.2%.

While Max’s passing statistics are a little concerning, his creativity as an attack-minded left-back is highly impressive.

He could provide some very stiff competition for Robertson with his goal contribution figures and would be available for far less than Firpo.

Max seems like the perfect alternative to Robertson and Liverpool should be prepared to spend in the region of £20m for him, as his signing wouldn’t just give Robertson some much-needed left-back cover – it would give him very productive and good value left-back competition.

Liverpool fans, do you think Max is the ideal backup to Robertson? Let us know your views by commenting below!

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Article title: Liverpool: Reds target Philipp Max also wanted by Barcelona

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