Who is Johan Bakayoko? Liverpool’s potential £43m Mohamed Salah replacement lighting up Eredivisie

Johan Bakayoko celebrates after scoring for PSV v Sparta at the Philips Stadium.
Johan Bakayoko celebrates after scoring for PSV v Sparta at the Philips Stadium. -Credit:Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images

Liverpool continue to be linked with winger Johan Bakayoko as the club look to back incoming new manager Arne Slot in the summer transfer window.

This summer will be a change of era for Liverpool with the departure of Jurgen Klopp after nine years at the club. It could also see some players coming and going, with Bakayoko one of the names to be linked with a move to Anfield.

Belgian outlet He Laatste Nieuws (via SportWitness) have named Liverpool as one of the teams interested in the winger. It is also suggested that they could move quicker to bring him in as a potential replacement for Mo Salah if the Egyptian leaves this summer.

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It’s not the first time that Liverpool have been linked with Bakayoko, the youngster was linked with a move to Anfield throughout 2023. He spoke about his future back in December.

asked about the possibility of a move in 2024, he replied: "At the moment, what matters most for me is being champion with PSV. I haven't thought about it yet. A lot of people expect me to make the move to a bigger championship next summer but if PSV are champions, they are also guaranteed to play in the Champions League. For the moment PSV is the club of my dreams."

So, who is Bakayoko and what would he bring to Liverpool if he was to complete a move? We’ve taken a closer look.

Who is Bakayoko?

Johan Bakayoko is a 21-year-old right winger who currently plays for Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. He also has 11 full international caps for Belgium.

Bakayoko spent his youth career in Belgium moving from OH Leuven to Club Brugge, Club Brugge to KC Mechelen and then moving on to Anderlecht. He moved from Anderlecht to PSV’s youth teams in 2019.

He made the step up from the U21s to the first team at PSV in 2022. His league debut came as a late substitute in the Eredivisie match vs Heracles Almelo in March 2022.

How has he done this season?

Bakayoko has since established himself as a regular starter for the Dutch side. This season he made a total of 46 appearances in all competitions, scoring 14 times and providing the same number of assists.

He is currently in his best form of the season, scoring in each of his last six Eredivisie matches. His latest strike came in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Sparta Rotterdam.

What will he cost and who else is interested?

Last summer it was reported that Brentford failed with what would have been a club record move for the winger. Bakayoko is said to have rejected the move.

Back in March Manchester City, Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain, and Borussia Dortmund were all said to be monitoring the player’s situation. Sky Germany reported that the price tag had been set at €50-60 million (£43-51m) by PSV.

What’s his playing style?

Breakingthelines talk about Bakayoko’s direct runs that can ‘split the opposition’s defensive line’. He is said to have a ‘superb first touch under pressure’ with his ball-carrying skills to beat opponents also praised. His ability to find teammates either through crossing or with through-balls is also highlighted.

Football talent scout highlight Bakayoko’s strengths as pace, acceleration, dynamism, dribbling, ball control, technique and agility. When highlighting his weaknesses it reads: “Great dribbler who still can be a little bit overambitious with dribbling and has a margin to improve his decision making in the final third and become more efficient.”