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Liverpool could sign hidden gem for just £15m – Liverpool Echo

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https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/liverpool-could-sign-hidden-gem-20474269

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Liverpool are certain to be linked with players from across the globe this summer as they look to freshen up their squad ahead of 2021/22.

However, after the club announced a pre-tax loss of £46m for the year to May 31, 2020, and with a greater financial hit inevitable this season, Kopites may need to rein in their expectations.

It would be nice to dream of Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe moving to Liverpool but signing one of several lower priced potential acquisitions feels much more realistic at this point.

One option is Adam Hlozek, an 18-year-old Czech international forward who plays for Sparta Prague. Could he be the new Milan Baros?

According to Football Insider, the Reds are looking to bring the young man to Anfield for a fee believed to be somewhere between £15m and £20m.

Despite his tender age, Hlozek already looks more than ready to take a step up to a higher quality league.

It’s important to bear in mind that the Czech league is not one of the strongest by any means. It is ranked as 17th in Europe according to the UEFA coefficients, which puts it below Cyprus in the standings.

But all Hlozek can do is impress when given the chance and he has certainly been doing that. For any player to have secured 60 starts and scored 18 goals in any senior league prior to their 19th birthday is no mean feat.

He is also versatile, capable of playing centrally or in wide areas across the front line. Per Transfermarkt, Hlozek has 34 appearances for Sparta Prague on the left, 23 through the middle and 21 on the right.

When he made his debut he had only turned 16 a few months earlier, and he went on to make 14 starts before that season was out.

The young man has made a serious impact this season though, despite missing 14 matches thanks to a metatarsal fracture.

Hlozek is currently third in the Czech league’s combined standings for goals and assists, and on a per 90 minutes played basis, he is top of the tree (per FBRef).

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Nicolas Anelka and Milan Baros sign for the Reds, with assistant boss Phil Thompson

Nicolas Anelka and Milan Baros sign for the Reds, with assistant boss Phil Thompson

He also made his European debut as a second half substitute in a Europa League match with Lille in 2020/21.

Within a minute of coming on, Sparta’s number 20 had backheeled a pass in the penalty area to assist a goal for Borek Dockal. Hlozek would surely have gained more European experience were it not for his injury too.

Watching footage of Hlozek, it’s clear that his fancy footwork against the French league leaders was no fluke. He displays nimble footedness on a regular basis, bamboozling opposition defenders in the final third, while also proving strong enough to hold them off when required.

Highlight reels should always be approached with caution, as they can only illustrate a fraction of a player’s career, but there is plenty to enjoy from Hlozek in his videos.

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He scores from long range, and he scores tap-ins. He cuts in from wide areas and blasts the ball home into the opposite corner, much like Liverpool fans have seen Mohamed Salah do countless times over the years.

Hlozek can also whip in a decent cross, and as his goal against Lille displayed, he seems to have an almost psychic awareness of where his teammates are in the box, laying off no-look passes and backheels directly into their paths.

Liverpool once bought a young striker from the Czech Republic who had 22 league goals to his name, and who later went on to start a Champions League final for the club.

Whether Hlozek is the new Milan Baros remains to be seen, but he has plenty of the attributes required to play at the highest level.

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