Ricardo Pepi (16) looks on during a MLS game against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Frisco, TX. FC Dallas won 4-0 (Mario Terrana/Image of Sport) Photo via Credit: Newscom/Alamy Live News

Liverpool linked with 18-year-old striker with 13 goals in 27 games this season

Liverpool have been reported to hold interest in USA’s rising star Ricardo Pepi, the striker has 13 goals in 27 Major Soccer League appearances so far this season.

The 18-year-old is a rising star in MLS and earned his first cap for the United States back in September, scoring a goal and notching two assists on his senior international debut.

Pepi has followed that up with a further three caps and two goals alongside his efforts for his club FC Dallas, who sit 12th in the Western Conference.

He made his league debut at just 16 years of age in 2019 and his since made 51 appearances in America’s top flight, but 2021 has proved to be his breakout year.

And after catching the eye in the league and on the international stage, Liverpool have taken notice and according to the Mirror‘s David Lynch, the Reds have registered their interest ahead of “an anticipated January scramble for his signature.”

Man United, Brighton and Brentford are also namechecked as those keeping an eye on the talented striker ahead of the winter window, in addition to clubs in Italy and Germany, with FC Dallas expecting offers said to be in the region of £10 million.

With a playoff berth looking unlikely for FC Dallas, Pepi will see his domestic season come to a close in November, and it does not start up again until February.

This opens the door for a winter move, with Pepi said to be “desperate to maintain his forward momentum by making the move to Europe this winter” ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Liverpool, however, would be unlikely to guarantee playing time beyond February following the return of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane from the Africa Cup of Nations.

But having failed to the attack in the summer and with a need to bolster forward options, Pepi could be a worthy option to pursue having shown flexibility across the attacking line.

There could be an adjustment period required following a move from MLS but links to Pepi and Red Bull Salzburg’s 19-year-old striker Karim Adeyemi suggest a desire to inject more youth into what is currently an ageing forward line at Anfield.