Ahead of the start of the season, Liverpool have strengthened their attacking unit by adding the Uruguayan sensation, Darwin Nunez, from SL Benfica after losing Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich. While Mohamed Salah has signed a contract extension until 2025, Roberto Firmino is expected to leave the Reds. If the Merseyside club sell Firmino, they will be left with only four attackers in the form of Salah, Nunez, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. Liverpool will need depth in the attacking department, especially if they continue to play with three up top. One man whose situation is being monitored by the team is Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio.
Asensio featured 42 times across all competitions for Real Madrid last season, including eight in the UEFA Champions League. He played only 206 minutes in the competition as he had to share the right wing with Rodrygo Goes and Federico Valverde. He scored one goal and provided two assists. With 0.38 goals per 90, he ended up in the upper quartile in this category among forwards. The Spaniard registered 3.83 touches in the penalty box per 90. He also managed to complete three-quarters of his take-ons.
Asensio had the same number of assists per 90 as his goals per 90 (0.38). But while he was in the upper quartile for the former, he was placed in the top 8% in assists per 90 for the same. He was involved in the build-up fairly frequently as he attempted close to 34 passes per 90. The former Espanyol man made 2.3 progressive runs per 90. His vision was right up there with some of the best as he completed 2.68 long balls per 90 and 2.3 through balls per 90, both of which ranked him in the top 8% or higher. With 1.15 smart passes per 90, he put himself in the upper quintile for this category.
Asensio played on the right flank, as seen in the above heat map. Despite his limited game-time, he completed four progressive passes, six passes into the final third, and three passes into the penalty box. He received 12 progressive passes and attempted 46 pressures. He also generated five shot-creating actions.
Most of the passes received by Asensio came on the right-hand side of the final third. Overall, he touched the ball 124 times, most of which came in the attacking third, followed by the midfield. He completed 13 progressive carries and three carries into the final third.
With Marco Asensio’s contract running out next summer, Real Madrid are eager to find buyers for the attacker. If Liverpool are interested, they will have to compete with Arsenal and AC Milan for the 29-capped Spain international. However, the Reds should only make an attempt to sign him if Firmino leaves the club.