Football Features

Who should sign Karim Adeyemi? Dream, realistic and wildcard contenders

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 11:30, 19 November 2021

Karim Adeyemi looks set to be the latest big name to emerge from the RB Salzburg talent factory.

Two seasons ago we all saw Erling Haaland arrive like a bat out of hell, and then this summer Patson Daka joined Leicester. Rumour has it that Adeyemi’s star is rising so fast that he won’t even make it to the end of the year in Salzburg colours.

The sudden interest in Adeyemi makes a lot of sense as the 19-year-old German has started the season in blistering form, already scoring 15 goals in 22 games, including three in four Champions League clashes to prove he’s not just bullying the Austrian Bundesliga.

But where will Adeyemi go? What are the options available to him and of those options, what are the dream, realistic and wildcard option for January destinations as Karim Adeyemi looks to take the next step in his career?

Dream: Barcelona

Barcelona are in need of another goalscoring forward to compliment Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay who, while talented, cannot carry the load alone. Adeyemi fits the bill in multiple ways with his pace, skill and deadly finishing ability.

The German can play all across the front which will please new Barca coach Xavi as he looks to build a new attack. Having Adeyemi available to play as an inverted forward on the right but an orthodox winger on the left would add so much to the Blaugrana’s flexibility.

Moreover, at 19-years-old, Adeyemi would fit in perfectly with Barcelona’s other young players like Ansu, Pedri, Gavi and Sergino Dest to name just three. The Camp Nou is overflowing with young talent and joining them as they all grow together would be an amazing thing for Adeyemi to be part of. And finally? He’s a Barcelona fan.

“Ever since I’ve been a little child I’ve always liked Messi and that’s why I think Barca is my favourite football club,” Adeyemi said in a 2019 interview. And while Messi is currently in Paris, being one of the cornerstone signings of the Xavi era in Catalunya make this a truly dream signing. It’s also a dream because Barcelona pulling together the €40m needed to sign him given their financial woes sounds like something that could only happen, well, in a dream!

Realistic: Borussia Dortmund

The other team rivaling Barcelona for Adeyemi’s services is a far more realistic option for a hotshot young striker. Borussia Dortmund are after him and are allegedly the favourites to land him with a €35m deal.

This makes a tonne of sense for Adeyemi. Not only is Dortmund a haven for developing young talent, but they’re also a proven stepping stone to the elite. Just ask Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembélé, Achraf Hakimi, Jadon Sancho and, this coming summer, Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian goalscoring giant is almost certain to leave in 2022, off to join one of the footballing elite, and that means someone will have to try and replace his goal output at Dortmund. There was talk of Adeyemi maybe being watched by Bayern, but if we follow the football food chain, it would be Haaland heading to Munich while Adeyemi replaces him at Dortmund.

Splitting that main goalscorer’s role between Adeyemi and Donyell Malen, allowing both to grow and become intensely valuable strikers who can in turn be sold on in a few years is a very Dortmund move, and in the meantime they get to play with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Gio Reyna and of course veteran superstar Marco Reus.

Wildcard: Liverpool

While Barcelona and Dortmund are the two primary protagonists in this deal, Liverpool have also been linked with Adeyemi and you can see why. The Premier League is the best league in the world right now. It’s where the money is and it’s where the best coaches are too. One of those coaches is Jurgen Klopp who has turned Liverpool into a global powerhouse and Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané into kings of the world stage and seems to have Diogo Jota trending in a similar direction.

Adeyemi with his pace, skill and ability to play anywhere up-front is a natural fit with the kind of player Jurgen Klopp likes to sign. His age, too, makes him a perfect fit for a coach who prefers to develop younger talents rather than sign ready-made stars (with a few notable exceptions, of course).

If Adeyemi were to take his talents to Anfield, he would almost certainly be a massive success over the long-term as Klopp develops him into a world-beating superstar. But that’s why this move has to be considered a wildcard, because as much as Adeyemi fits Liverpool, he wouldn’t start for them right now nor would he even be first man off the bench. Given his age, minutes on the pitch are crucial and so it’s unlikely he ends up on Merseyside.

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