With first team action far between at Liverpool, Nigerian-born winger Bobby Adekanye has never hidden his intention to move away from Anfield and join Serie A side, Lazio. His wish has come to pass as he is set to be unveiled by the Roman giants
Back in March, Liverpool youngster Bobby Adekanye said he would not sign a new contract and wants to leave, with Lazio and Barcelona reportedly among those interested.
The 20-year-old winger, who joined the Reds from Barca’s La Masia academy in 2017 but has struggled with injury, said he was disappointed with a lack of first-team opportunities and that he was not included on their pre-season tour to the USA.
“I expected that I would get a chance at Liverpool sooner. Before I came, we talked about it. They said that if I had a good first season, I had a good chance of joining the first-team,” he said.
“Due to injury, that did not come true. I had to undergo surgery at the start of my second season and then it is difficult to return.
“Jurgen Klopp spoke to me and gave me tips. He said ‘keep doing your thing’. But in the end, I don’t think I appeared in his plans. If so, I have to look for something else. That is disappointing and it has helped me not to renew my contract.”
Reports in Italy then claimed Adekanye has been offered a five-year contract to move to Lazio in Serie A, but the player insists that nothing is done with any club and there are other options – including a return to Catalonia.
“That it would be completed with Lazio is not at all the case,” he said. “It’s not over yet. It is one of the clubs that is interested, but it is not yet 100 per cent decided. I also heard from Barcelona, in the Netherlands Willem II came by. I can’t name the entire list of clubs now, because then we will be busy tomorrow. But there is interest from, among others, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
“In the summer I am going to talk about it with my family and business manager Junior Minguella, I am not worried that I have no club.”
However, Adekanye had agreed a four-year deal with Lazio and is set to be unveiled as a player of Italian Serie A club Lazio.
The former Barcelona and Ajax Amsterdam wonderkid has rejected a new three-year deal from European champions Liverpool and will leave the Premier League side as a free agent after opting not to renew his contract with the Reds because he was not guaranteed first-team opportunities by manager Jurgen Klopp.
‘’Bobby is going to Lazio, the deal is 85-90 per cent completed. There are a few things to be ironed out before the transfer becomes official, ‘’ a top source close to Adekanye said.
‘’He has one leg in Lazio and will sign a four-year contract. He is happy with Liverpool but the coach did not give him a chance the way he was giving chances to other players.’’
The 20-year-old Adekanye watched the final of the Coppa Italia between Lazio and Atalanta last month.
Before now, his agent has hinted that the future of his client may be in Italy, with the midfielder due to leave the Anfield club this summer.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, his representative said: “Adekanye still hasn’t decided on his future, but we are close to an agreement. You’ll know in the next few weeks.”
When asked whether the reports on Lazio making a move for the player were true, he added: “They showed interest and a good project for Bobby. Contacts started a bit over a month ago. He’s very interested in playing in Italy, very happy about Lazio’s interest and the possibility of playing there.”
The former Ajax and Barcelona youngster made it clear that he needs to leave Liverpool to get more first team chances elsewhere, with the wide man never having made an appearance for the club’s senior side, and Lazio are keen to bring him in on a free transfer.
Adekanye has pace, power and plenty of quality on the ball as well as the ability to play on both the left and right hand side of the attack.
Adekanye has shone for Liverpool’s U-19s and U-23s but had not yet made the step up
“I talked to the sporting director, Igli Tare. He thinks that I can become a good player and that coming to Lazio could be a good choice for my career. I am following all the Biancocelesti matches. In Serie A I could enhance my qualities because I like to attack,” he noted.