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Who is this 19-year-old Championship wonder kid being surveyed by Premier League giants? All you need to know

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Premier League Opinion: Scout Report – Bilal Brahimi

Middlesbrough are a club that have always been renowned for producing some of the best young talents that English football has seen. Their Rockliffe Park Academy has a long history for only developing the brightest, most talented players.

Players such as Lee Cattermole, Stuart Downing and James Morrison are living legacies of this famous football clubs. Even now, their production quality certainly hasn’t dropped. One player from their academy is now turning heads even at Premier League level.

Bilal Brahimi is a 19-year-old French left-winger who currently features mainly for the Boro U23 side although he did make a first-team appearance earlier this season. His exploits have attracted interest from both Liverpool and Newcastle United, as suggested by Hull Live

Background 

Brahimi was born in Paris, France on the 14th of March in 2000 and that’s where stayed until 2017 when he finally made the switch to a professional football clubs.

After spending time with multiple amateur clubs within Paris, he was signed up by Leixoes who play in the Portuguese 2nd division.

It was here that he was scouted by Middlesbrough and within a year of being in Portugal, he was given the opportunity to spread his wings as a footballer at the famous Middlesbrough academy. Since then, there’s been no stopping him as he’s turned into one of their brightest young prospects. 

Since he mostly represents the U23 side, he plays in the Premier League 2 and has scored once and assisted once in his 13 league appearances this season. His lone first team appearance came in August when he came on in an EFL Cup against Rochdale. 

Style of Play 

He is a tricky winger who loves to get on the ball but also displays amazing unselfishness in the final third. His ambition to pick out teammates is matched by his ability as the eventuality of a misplaced pass from the youngster is rare. 

Quite direct in his approach, he has the right attributes to develop into a tricky Premier League winger given the right training and nurturing. All this added to the fact that he also plays as a striker, means that he’s effectively guaranteed a future in the English game. 

The Way Forward 

Brahimi turned 19 just a week ago and pushing a player of such youth into making a difficult decision could have serious effects on his growth as a player and hence it would be best for him to stay at Middlesbrough for at least another season. 

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With that said, when clubs like Liverpool or Newcastle United come calling, irrespective of who you are, it will be really difficult to turn them down and with the right intentions, he can be turned into a superstar in the coming years.

Derby County

Leeds plotting an ambitious double swoop on these two Liverpool starlets would be a massive statement of intent

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Leeds United Opinion: Whites should sign Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent in the summer

According to the Daily Record, Leeds United are plotting a double raid on Premier League giants Liverpool in the summer for Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson, with manager Marcelo Bielsa looking to build a squad capable of thriving in the Premier League.

Both Kent and Wilson have enjoyed a wonderful run this season at Steven Gerrard’s Rangers and Frank Lampard’s Derby County respectively and Bielsa believes they are the sort of players who can take the club to a new level. (h/t Daily Record)

Kent has been a livewire down the left-hand side of the pitch at Ibrox and has impressed with 6 goals and 10 assists from 36 appearances for the Gers in all competitions.

The Daily Record claims that Gerrard is planning to make a personal plea to Jurgen Klopp in a bid to keep Kent at Rangers beyond the end of the season, though the Gers are likely to be priced out of a move if Liverpool put him up for sale.

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Wilson, on the other hand, has really come of age at Pride Park this season and has been a key player for Lampard down the right of his preferred 4-3-3 formation. The youngster scored 7 goals on loan at Hull City last season and he has bettered those numbers at Derby this time around, contributing with 12 goals from a wide position on the right.

Meanwhile, Leeds United had a major slip-up in the race for automatic promotion as the Whites suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Wigan Athletic at home on Friday. Bielsa’s side sat second in the standings prior to the game but they were leapfrogged by Sheffield United, who won 2-0 against Nottingham Forest.

Leeds have put themselves on the verge of promotion with a wonderful run this season and they just cannot afford to let themselves down in the dying stages of the campaign. The Whites should be looking to win each of their remaining 3 games in the Championship to secure automatic promotion for the first time in 15 years.

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Now, should Leeds make it back to the Premier League, they would need to spend a hefty amount to bring in some quality players to survive in the top flight.

If Leeds manage to secure promotion, Bielsa is likely to get a hefty amount to spend in the summer and the acquisition of two immensely-talented youngsters in the form of Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent would be a huge coup for the Whites.

Both the players are aged 22 and they have already shown strong signs of excellence, which might be enough evidence that they are capable of making the step up to the Premier League.

Kent has flourished as a right-footed inverted winger operating down the left on loan at Ibrox this season, while left-footed creative ace Wilson has been a hugely influential figure playing out wide on the right at Pride Park. Both are versatile players with good goalscoring pedigree who are capable of playing on either flank and through the centre as a supporting striker.

However, a closer analysis of both the players reveals that Kent is predominantly a winger who relies on his pace, low centre-of-gravity, dribbling and crossing, while Wilson is a more dynamic and elegant attacker who has the creativity and the vision to unleash delightful passes as well.

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Wilson and Kent would be an upgrade on the likes of Jack Harrison and Tyler Roberts, while also increasing competition for places and adding to the depth in the wide attacking options at Elland Road.

Pablo Hernandez has been a key figure under Marcelo Bielsa but the 33-year-old might find it tough to adapt to the physical and highly-competitive nature of the Premier League, as he reaches the twilight of his career.

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With their ability to create chances in the final third, Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent might prove to be the perfect feeder for Kemar Roofe up front, and that said, the Whites should not hesitate to strike a deal for the young duo.

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Liverpool

Liverpool beating Man City to sign this £45m-rated attacker would be a shrewd move by Klopp and here’s why

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Liverpool Opinion: Reds should beat City to sign Everton Soares

According to the Calciomercato, Liverpool are interested in signing a Brazilian attacker who shares his name with their bitter Merseyside rivals, with Gremio winger Everton Soares reportedly on manager Jurgen Klopp’s wishlist for the summer.

The Sun claimed last week that Man City were leading the race for the 23-year-old Brazilian international, with Gremio quoting a price of £45 million to part ways with their star man.

Soares enjoyed a wonderful run in the Brazilian league last year and impressed with his scintillating performances down the left-wing, scoring 10 goals and assisting a further 3 from 27 appearances.

Currently in his sixth year at Gremio, Soares has established himself as one of the emerging stars in Brazilian football and his consistent performances have earned him 4 caps for his nation so far at the senior international level.

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The 23-year-old has already tasted plenty of silverware in South America, helping Gremio to victories at the 2016 Copa do Brasil, 2017 Copa Libertadores and 2018 Recopa Sudamericana.

The diminutive jet-heeled winger has accumulated a total of 32 goals and 10 assists from 136 appearances for Gremio in all competitions.

To put things into perspective, signing Everton Soares would be a massive coup for Liverpool and the Reds should look to beat off competition from their Premier League rivals Man City.

The 23-year-old has not only made his presence felt in the domestic and continental club competitions but he has already made it to Brazil’s national team as well, which should be considered as a mighty leap in his developmental phase.

Standing at 5ft. 9 inches with a diminutive frame, Soares’ low centre-of-gravity allows him to keep exceptional close control of the ball and he brings his pace, flair and mesmerizing dribbling skills into play to cut inside from the flanks.

A player noted for his direct approach to the game, youthful exuberance and eye for goal, the Brazilian is not just a clinical finisher but he has a penchant for playing delightful through balls as well, which should help him make the step up to the Premier League.

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Soares might look like a complete pushover down the flanks in the Premier League but he can be really deceptive and nippy with his drive, determination, balance and considerable upper body strength. Renowned for his ability to change directions quickly, Everton is a technically-gifted and versatile attacker who can certainly enrich Liverpool’s squad depth.

The front trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah has once again lived up to the expectations, with the three players sharing a mammoth 61 goals among them in all competitions for the Reds so far this season.

Their prolific form has been pivotal to Liverpool’s surge for the Premier League title and their run to the semi-finals of the Champions League. With all the three players still very much in their prime, Liverpool can expect them to keep delivering the goods in the foreseeable future.

However, Jurgen Klopp needs to invest in back up options up front, with Daniel Sturridge out of contract in the summer and Divock Origi’s future far from settled.

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Xherdan Shaqiri looked like an absolute bargain for Liverpool in the first half of the season as the Swiss international produced some fine displays, but he has gradually slipped down the pecking order.

Hence, the Reds currently do not have a lot of cover in the attack and the acquisition of Everton Soares would add more firepower to their resources.

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That said, Liverpool should not hesitate to splash the cash to bring in one of the hottest talents in Brazil.

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Liverpool

This German winger with £21.5m release clause has the ideal skill-set to prosper for Liverpool – Agreed?

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Liverpool Opinion: Julian Brandt will as a new dimension to the Reds attack

According to a recently published report by British news outlet the Mirror, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are said to be ready to launch a sly summer move for Bayer Leverkusen’s star winger Julian Brandt, as they look to strengthen their squad in order to maintain the high level of football that’s currently being played at Anfield.

It has been suggested that Julian Brandt has a rather tiny release clause that’s attached to his contract making him easy prey for any of Europe’s high-profile sides. Still only 22, the youngster can be signed up by any team that’s willing to shell out the £21.5m that his contract itself demands. 

Considering that Brandt is one of Germany’s brightest young stars and has been touted for massive things in the future, this amount seems quite diminutive but none of the European superpowers will be complaining about the price as they know exactly what they’ll be getting if they do sign their man. 

Born in the magnificent German city of Bremen, Brandt began his youth career playing for local clubs Borgfeld and Oberneuland. It was finally in 2011 that he earned his first big break and was signed by a highly-rated Wolfsburg side. 

Being a team that were once challenging for various titles across Europe, a move to Wolfsburg was definitely the best move with the player’s best interests in mind. Despite making the switch back in back in 2011 though, it wasn’t until recently that his name was brought under the spotlight. 

This happened only he made a permanent switch to Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen in the winter of 2014. After this transfer, his rise to supremacy happened at an alarming rate and his exploits for club and country certainly haven’t gone unnoticed over the last few seasons. 

Since making the move to Bayern Leverkusen all the way back in 2014, the German international left-winger has played in over 200 appearances for the club already while he’s even managed to score 39 goals and picked up a further 48 assists as well.

This season, he has played in 28 Bundesliga games for Leverkusen while he’s managed to score 4 goals and assist 11. His numbers for Germany are quite good too as they read 24 caps and 2 goals since making his debut for Germany back in 2016. 

Since then, he has become a fairly regular member of the German National side and isn’t left out of the selection process often. His pace and dribbling skills have been renowned for a while. His excellent ability to pick out passes from large distances will also be a boost to Liverpool. 

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With a lot of the pressure generally falling on the shoulders of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, it is essential for Klopp to invest in another bright young player who can help take some of the load off their shoulders. Given his rather laughable release clause, there’s no reason why Liverpool shouldn’t go for him as he could be a top signing for the club.

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