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Who is Assan Ouedraogo? Liverpool among clubs 'eyeing' $22m teenager dubbed 'next Paul Pogba'

Assan Ouedraogo has caught the eye with Schalke this season
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Jürgen Fromme - firo sportphoto/Getty Images))


Liverpool is one of a host of clubs reportedly considering a move for Schalke sensation Assan Ouedraogo this summer. The 18-year-old is one of the brightest young prospects in German football right now.

The Reds could well be in for a busy summer following Arne Slot's arrival, with the Dutchman officially starting his contract as head coach on Saturday. He will not have complete control over transfers but will work closely with sporting director Richard Hughes on identifying targets.

And one of those could well be midfielder Ouedraogo, who has been a standout performer for Schalke following its relegation to the second tier in Germany.

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Unsurprisingly, Liverpool isn't the only team keeping tabs on the teenager with teams across Europe also interested. He could well have a big decision to make with clubs likely to activate his bargain release clause.

Liverpool.com has taken a look at what all the fuss is about and rounds up all the speculation surrounding Assan Ouedraogo ahead of the transfer window opening.

Background

The teenage midfielder came through the youth ranks at Schalke before making his senior debut at the start of this season. Schalke was relegated from the Bundesliga in 2023 and was forced to make a host of sales in the summer.

That paved the way for Oueadrogo to impress in pre-season and he was given a start on the opening day of the campaign. He didn't disappoint either, finding the net in his side's 5-2 loss to Hamburg, becoming both Schalke's youngest-ever player and goalscorer.

An ankle ligament injury stunted his progress though and he missed four months of action before returning to fitness for the run-in. He ended the season on a high though, scoring twice in his final four matches of the campaign and has been a regular with Germany's Under-17 squad.

Ouedraogo is predominantly a box-to-box midfielder and already stands at an impressive 192cm. His physique has already drawn similarities with that of Paul Pogba while there have also been comparisons to ex-Chelsea man Michael Essien.

Transfer links

Ouedraogo has emerged as a target for multiple clubs this summer after his release clause emerged. Goal reported in November 2023 that he has a buyout clause worth just $22m (£17m/€20m) which can be activated during the summer transfer window.

Liverpool is one of a host of clubs keen on the teenage midfielder with Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Newcastle are all said to be keeping tabs on the talent.

Those clubs may have to act fast though with Bayern Munich believed to be, as ever, in pole position for a German prospect. Sky Sport journalist Florian Pletternberg claims Liverpool is in the mix but he favors a move to Bayern, who would then loan him back to Schalke for the season.

According to Caught Offside, Ouedraogo's release clause is much lower for Bundesliga clubs, although that must be triggered by June 15.