Madrid hat-trick hero Asensio’s Liverpool links are fanciful

Robin Bairner
Marco Asensio has been linked with Liverpool

Marco Asensio is in the headlines this week, with a hat-trick against Mallorca sparking rumours of a potential move to the Premier League, with Liverpool said to be interested.

Asensio is a player who has threatened to make it big on several occasions with Madrid but it has never quite happened for him.

He netted in the 2017 Champions League final win over Juventus and also scored fine goals in both legs of the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona in 2017/18.

However, a serious knee injury derailed his 2019/20 campaign and he has never quite returned to his peak.

There was a tantalising glimpse of what may yet be of Asensio’s career in midweek as the 25-year-old struck a first senior hat-trick against Mallorca. It was his first start of the season and it could not plausibly have gone any better.

In the aftermath, Fichajes linked him with a potential move to Liverpool next summer.

Certainly, the Reds need reinforcement in the middle of the park, but it would be surprising if they were doing much more than keeping tabs on Asensio at this juncture.

His versatility is, of course, something that might attract Jurgen Klopp. Asensio can play anywhere across the midfield, either in attacking or more reserved roles, which is a major asset.

Furthermore, he seems to have overcome his serious injury without too many further concerns. The only Real Madrid matches he missed last season came at the beginning of the season. He was an ever present in the squad thereafter, playing a role in virtually every encounter.

But has he done enough to justify genuine interest from such a club?

The answer is probably not.

Real Madrid hoping for Asensio rebirth

Real Madrid hope he can follow in Vinicius Junior’s footsteps and become another revenant – a player to excel after coming in from the cold.

If Asensio does this, the likelihood is that he will stay at Madrid. After all, they have an aging midfield, summer recruit Eduardo Camavinga aside, and have already focused their summer 2022 priorities in attack with Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.

Asensio’s contract is up in 2023 and will not command a big fee next summer, so in the event that he does become a major player again, it would make more sense for them to extend his deal.

If he does not, he will push for a move. Already there have been reports he is upset that he is not being more extensively used. But if that is the case, it would be bold of Liverpool to gamble on him.

He might have gone to Tottenham this summer, but there has been a fundamental change in circumstances. His stock was low in Madrid this summer and the club needed money. With two years to run on his contract, they could have got a better deal for him.

It would be surprising if Asensio was to leave Real Madrid for Liverpool next summer.