Five Sporting players Ruben Amorim should bring with him to Liverpool

Will Ford
Amorim Gyokeres Diomande Liverpool
Which Sporting players might Ruben Amorim bring with him to Liverpool?

It looks very likely that Ruben Amorim will be the next manager of Liverpool. Despite the club insisting no agreement is in place following reports of a ‘full agreement’, Sporting and Liverpool are supposedly in talks and there’s a hell of a lot of smoke for there to be no fire.

Hilarious though it would be if Liverpool don’t manage to get the deal done because they’re not a ‘big club’, assuming Amorim is in charge at Anfield this summer, and assuming he has some sway with Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes over signings, we’ve come up with five of his Sporting players he may decide to bring with him to the Premier League.


Goncalo Inacio
The return to form this season of Virgil van Dijk has been a blessing, but the entirely valid claim that they wouldn’t be anywhere near Manchester City or Arsenal in the title race without him should stiffen the resolve of the club to find a suitable replacement. He’s out of contract in 2025, and given Michael Edwards’ reluctance to offer older players new deals, the 32-year-old may decide to leave with Jurgen Klopp this summer. He wouldn’t be short of suitors.

Inacio has been on Premier League radars for close to two years – Newcastle were first linked in May 2022 – a) because he’s a very fine footballer and b) because left-footed centre-backs are a relatively rare breed. Van Dijk has been imperious for Liverpool as a left-sided centre-back, but left-footers are generally coveted in that role owing to the passing angles and trajectories they can more easily create with the full-back on their side.

Along with Benfica’s Antonio Silva, Inacio was reportedly being eyed as Van Dijk’s replacement last summer, and those links resurfaced in January when it was claimed the 22-year-old had become Klopp’s ‘priority’ signing, with Liverpool prepared to offer £52m to beat Arsenal to the punch. Inacio was said then to be ‘waiting’ for Liverpool, and the chance to continue working under Amorim will presumably only strengthen his desire to move to Anfield.


Ousmane Diomande
Liverpool may need two centre-backs. Van Dijk’s possible departure along with Joel Matip would leave Liverpool with Ibrahima Konate, Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez as the remaining options, with the latter more typically used as cover in the full-back positions.

They’ll have a battle on their hands to land Diomande. The 20-year-old has caught the eye of Manchester United, Newcastle, Arsenal and perhaps most concerningly for Liverpool given their failed attempts to sign both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia last summer, Chelsea.

Like Inacio, he’s comfortable in possession, and also has pace to burn. Renowned as something of a tough tackler, occasionally to his detriment, but reading at around a six out of ten on the Cristian Romero ill-advisement scale can be brushed off as the exuberance of youth.

Having moved to Sporting for FC Midtjylland for £6.5m in January 2023, it’s thought it will now take over £50m to secure the Ivorian’s services.

Arsenal transfer target Ousmane Diomande
Ousmane Diomande has drawn interest from multiple Premier League clubs.


Morten Hjulmand
There was absolute certainty last summer, which remained for the first three months or so of the season, that come the 2024/25 season Liverpool would have a new number six. After a £111m bid for Caicedo and a £46m bid for Lavia, the £16m signing of 30-year-old Wataru Endo could surely only be a stopgap.

But the Japan international’s displays this season, with the League Cup final win over a Chelsea a particular high point, may well mean the recruitment team have put a defensive midfield signing down a couple of places on their list of priorities. He’s been excellent.

Hjulmand is reportedly on Manchester United’s radar as they attempt to patch their gaping midfield hole, while Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou is also thought to be a fan, and there’s no doubt he’s highly thought of by Amorim, who signed him from Lecce for £16m in the summer. It’s claimed Liverpool ‘like’ Hjulmand, but his name tends to crop up as an addendum in reports of scouting missions for other Sporting stars.

READ: If Ruben Amorim does take the Liverpool job, will he be a Mourinho or an AVB?


Pedro Goncalves
You can be forgiven for forgetting (or not knowing) about Pedro Goncalves’ impact on English football, given his senior experience for Wolves consisted of a 28-minute cameo in a 2-0 Carabao Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday in September 2018. Nuno Espirito Santo dropped a clanger.

Sold to Famalicao for £1m in the summer of 2019, he was sold to Sporting for a cool £11.5m a year later and is now being linked with a £70m move back to England on the back of 74 goals and 48 assists in 170 appearances for the Portuguese giants. Oh, Nuno.

Liverpool’s interest in the winger was first piqued back in 2021, and various other Premier League clubs, including Tottenham, West Ham and Aston Villa have also been linked with a player that has been described as ‘Bruno Fernandes, but more of a goal threat’. Sounds alright.


Viktor Gyokeres
It will never not be funny that Everton missed out on Gyokeres because they refused to pay £20m straight up rather than £17m plus £3m in add-ons. They would now likely be deploring their eight-point deduction due to its implications for their European ambitions rather than in their fight to avoid relegation. Gyokeres has 51 goal contributions in all competitions to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s eight, and the Sweden international’s 36 goals is just four shy of the entire Everton team’s output this season.

Brighton will be kicking themselves too, having let a player now seemingly destined to move to the Premier League for £85m join Coventry for just £1m three years ago.

Amorim would give Liverpool a huge advantage in a race for Gyokeres given the striker’s agent said this week that his client moved to Sporting “precisely because of Ruben” and there’s little doubt that admiration has done anything but increase on the back of this season together.

But arguably Arsenal and definitely Chelsea are more in need than Liverpool of a goalscoring centre-forward, so any race will be well contested.

READ MORE: Who are football’s top goalscorers of 2024? Kane closing on Mbappe but Haaland way off