Bengaluru, March 24: Liverpool have been strongly linked with a summer swoop for young Schalke defender Malick Thiaw, who has been dubbed as the new 'Joel Matip’. The 18-year-old’s current contract with the German giants expires in the summer of 2021. And, he reportedly has a release clause of just £7 million in his contract which takes Schalke in the back foot regarding the situation of the talented defender and Liverpool look ready to capitalise on it.
Liverpool's transfers since the appointment of Jurgen Klopp have been nothing short of exceptional. Their scouting network in one of the best in Europe and most of their signings have been impressive. They have signed players for big money in the form of players like Virgil van Dijk or Alisson Becker but on the other hand, they bagged a few bargains Andrew Robertson being the biggest example.
The Reds are always keeping a close eye on players who can improve their squad at the moment or in the future and Malick Thiaw certainly seems like one of many years to come. He is one of the most highly-rated young players in Bundesliga, a league Klopp knows inside out.
He joined the youth academy of Schalke in 2015 after spending time in the youth ranks of clubs like Fortuna Dusseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach. He has already made 52 appearances for the Schalke under-19 side also captaining them in several games.
The 18-year-old made his senior debut earlier this month prior to the suspension of Bundesliga due to the Coronavirus pandemic, coming on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against TSG Hoffenheim. Despite his age of just 18, Thiaw already boasts a big presence at the back thanks to his huge frame of 6'3". He has been compared to now Liverpool defender Joel Matip who also came through the youth ranks of the German side.
Thiaw is predominantly a centre back but can also feature as a defensive midfielder. He is strong in the air and very much calm with the ball at his feet. Him passing is top-notch which is evident from his ability to be capable of filling in as a defensive midfielder.
Even though the 18-year-old does not have much experience at the top level yet, he looks like a solid option in the long run. And, Liverpool will be smart enough to bring the talented youngster to Anfield on a deal £7 million that looks like a bargain.