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Donyell Malen has rapidly emerged as Liverpool's primary transfer target as Jurgen Klopp prepares to strengthen his side's attack ahead of the new season.
The PSV Eindhoven forward is considered one of the most exhilarating prospects in the Netherlands and has caught the eyes of Anfield chiefs with his goalscoring exploits.
But Malen's entourage of admirers now spreads beyond club scouts and Eredivisie fans, as he has earned widespread acclaim with his performances at Euro 2020.
The 22-year-old came off the bench to pick up assist against Austria last week and was rewarded with a start against North Macedonia on Monday, setting up Memphis Depay's opening goal.
Malen has been impressing for the Netherlands at Euro 2020
(Image: Getty Images)
Malen's performances on the big stage have understandably excited Liverpool fans – and a potential big-money move to Anfield could spell heartache for Arsenal.
Here, Mirror Football takes a look at the Dutchman's time with the Gunners, his PSV form and what a transfer to Liverpool may mean for all parties.
Frustrating Arsenal days
A 17-year-old Malen joined Arsenal in 2015, leaving boyhood club Ajax after eight years with the Amsterdam giants to do so.
At the time, he cited compatriot Dennis Bergkamp and fellow Gunners legend Thierry Henry as key factors in convincing him to move to north London.
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Malen would never make a senior appearance for Arenal, however, and was limited to featuring at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-23 level.
Nonetheless, his form form was impressive throughout his time with the academy ranks and he racked up 27 goals or assists in 58 appearances across various youth levels.
Then-manager Arsene Wenger praised Malen's performances on the club's pre-season tour in 2017 – which is why it was so surprising the teenager left the club in August that year.
The Dutchman (left) impressed on pre-season in July 2017 but departed the following month
(Image: Arsenal FC)
Not only that, it only cost PSV a fee in the region of £200,000 to £500,000 to land the youngster, who later explained his Arsenal exit by citing ambitions of senior game time.
He told Dutch outlet De Telegraaf in 2019: "That I was sent away from Arsenal is certainly not true. I still had a contract for a year and Arsenal even wanted to extend that.
"I don’t play football for the money. I never did that. Otherwise I would not have left England."
Meteoric PSV rise
Malen has established himself as one of the brightest talents in the Eredivisie
(Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)
Malen's hopes of senior minutes were not satisfied at first; he spent much of his debut PSV season with the reserves in the second-tier of Dutch football, scoring 23 goals in 22 games.
But he did make four appearances in the top flight, which were enough to collect an Eredivisie winners' medal after PSV's triumph that term.
From there, Malen went from strength to strength with the first team and his goalscoring numbers for the last three campaigns read 11, 17 and 27.
Should Liverpool stump up £27million to sign Malen this summer? Comment below.
The striker's creative ability is also a key asset which is rooted in his early days as a winger and evidenced by his 10 assists last season.
Unsurprisingly, this means PSV are demanding far more than the sub-seven-figure fee they paid Arsenal for Malen back in 2017.
Liverpool's transfer talks
Nonetheless, PSV's £27million asking price is well within budget for Liverpool and the Reds have entered talks over the transfer, as first reported by Sky Sport Germany .
Klopp may need to trim his squad to make room for Malen
(Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
The latest updates suggest Anfield chiefs are keen to get the deal over the line as soon as possible ahead of pre-season beginning in mid-July.
Crucially for Liverpool, Arsenal did not insert a buy-back clause when they sold Malen to PSV four years ago, meaning the Reds have a fairly unobstructed run at the player.
Should Liverpool complete the signing ahead of the upcoming Premier League season, it remains to be seen whether Malen would immediately take a spot in the starting XI.
There has been speculation the Reds are looking for competition for Roberto Firmino in the No.9 role, while Malen is also able to play out wide and could operate as back-up for Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.
His arrival would also raise questions of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri's futures at Anfield, as minutes in attack are already hard to come by with Diogo Jota also pushing for a prominent role.
Klopp may need to show a ruthless edge to make room for Malen in his squad as he looks to inject his side with fresh quality in preparation for a title bid.