This is as good a time as any to admit that, as a Fiorentina blog, we don’t have a lot of folks on staff who watch a lot of Liverpool reserve matches. Therefore, none of us are particularly qualified to write about new signing Bobby Duncan, who’s never appeared with the first team. Fortunately, we tracked down Mark Kastner of the Liverpool Offside (and Sounder at Heart) to shed some light on what we can expect from the teenaged striker.
Viola Nation: Given the, um, untraditional exit that Bobby Duncan took from Liverpool, what are the feelings around this move for the Reds? Are people disappointed, relieved, indifferent, or some combination of all three?
Mark Kastner: I think most Liverpool fans are a bit disappointed with how things ended with Duncan, with the caveat of their disappointment being directed towards Duncan’s agent instead of towards Duncan himself. His agent made a fool of himself and that sort of sealed Duncan’s exit from the club. So, once the situation became what it became, most people are relieved with getting a solid fee and sell on clause for a player who was no where near the first team.
VN: What kind of player is Duncan? From the highlight videos on YouTube, he seems like a quick poacher with excellent finishing ability and a knack for finding space in behind the defense and in the box; is that accurate, or is there more to his game?
MK: You’re spot on with your assessment, I think. Duncan plays a lot like an odd school number 9. He’s quick, he’s got some strength to him, and does all his business in the box. He’s much more in the mold of Robert Lewandowski than he is Roberto Firmino. I’m not saying he’s that good (he could be), but his game is very similar. He (Duncan) had formed quite the striker partnership with fellow Liverpool academy stud Paul Glatzel. You don’t see too many striker duos in the modern game, but it was pretty fun to watch those two play off each other at the reserve level.
VN: Having forced his way out of Manchester City and now Liverpool, exactly how angry will he be (on a scale of 1 to 10 Artur Borucs) if he winds up with the Fiorentina youth team instead of the starters? Will the fact that he’s in a new country where he presumably doesn’t speak the language help him be patient, or will he expect to be playing 90 minutes every week?
MK: It’s a really tough call, honestly. Liverpool took a flier on him when he forced his way out at City and on some level that backfired for the team. Like I mentioned before, I think this move has a lot more to do with his agent than it does him. For the kid’s sake, I hope he distances himself from this guy, but I don’t know if that’ll happen.
Duncan is extremely confident. He backs himself massively. I would hope that he understands moving to a different country and a different team will mean it takes time to adjust. Not everyone can be Jadon Sancho, after all.
So, to answer your question directly, it’s just unknowable at this stage. I think he’s wise enough to know that he’s left his two previous clubs not on the best terms, so he can’t really afford to screw this chance up.
VN: Can we have Mo Salah back, please? Would also settle for Sadio Mané or Bobby Firmino. Or Xherdan Shaqiri. Or Divock Origi. Or pretty much anyone on the roster. Please?
VN: Can I interest you in one Dejan Lovren for €20m? We’ve got a few hours before the window closes as we talk…
Thanks, Mark, even if we opted against that Dejan Lovren suggestion.