The U17 World Cup is currently ongoing in Indonesia and it's now entering the final stages, with the semi-finals set to be played tomorrow. Undoubtedly, the surprise of the tournament has been the Malian national team, which has reached the semi-final stage and is now set to take on France.

A team full of exciting stars, Mali has been impressive in the kind of technical attacking football that the country has played. With 14 goals scored, only Brazil and Argentina have netted more, with 16 apiece at the tournament so far.

But what's been even more impressive is Mali's defensive record, having conceded just two goals at the tournament so far, the second-fewest behind only France, who is yet to concede a goal. One of the best players for Mali at this tournament has been the holding midfielder, Sekou Kone, who has played an integral role in solidifying and dictating Mali's midfield.

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The exciting midfielder reads the game well, and has so far made the most interceptions (40) out of anyone in the tournament. He is a midfielder who is bound to attract plenty of interest on the back of his strong performances and Liverpool should be among the suitors.

Kone is the kind of holding midfielder Jürgen Klopp's side needs. Right now the club could bring him to Anfield for a relatively cheap fee, too.

Having been developed by the JMG academy, which has a track record of producing elite midfielders from its Mali campus in Bamako — from Yves Bissouma to Amadou Haidara and Cheick Doucouré — Kone has definitely learned the foundations of what is required of an elite midfielder. If history is anything to go by, foundations have been laid for him to one day make it in the Premier League or the Bundesliga.

Liverpool transfer Sekou Kone
Sekou Kone should be on Liverpool's transfer radar.

The academy founded by Jean Marc Guillou deploys very unique tactics in developing players. From playing barefoot to learning a tiki-taka style of play, initially JMG started out in the Ivory Coast, where the academy produced players like Kolo and Yaya Touré, Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Eboué and Gervinho.

It's an academy with a clear track record of producing some of the best players to have emerged from Africa recently. Kone is just one of four players currently competing for this Mali side at the U17 World Cup who has passed through JMG.

Liverpool hasn't often signed players directly from Africa. The last one was Taiwo Awoniyi from Nigeria, who then had to spend years out on loan to try and acquire a work-permit. But with Brexit and new work-permit rules, last summer the FA also announced an exemption for up to four players, which means Liverpool could potentially bring Kone to the club upon his 18th birthday as per FIFA rules.