Our early Tuesday morning International Champions Cup clash against Roma did not only end in defeat but also highlighted further Liverpool’s need for a new full back, after Moreno was injured late on in the game. Although the injury is not serious, many fans feel that the spaniard simply isn’t good enough to play for the club after his dire performance in the Europa League final. And although Klopp has said that he doesn’t think we would sign anyone else in this window, this injury will surely act as a wake up call for our desperate need for a new Left Back.
And no, I don’t think Moreno is a bad player, I just think he is being played in a completely wrong position, because lets be honest, the lad can’t defend. I feel like he might have a future at the club in the left wing position, but with players like Wijnaldum, Mane, Coutinho and Firmino in the squad, we clearly have far better options in this position and so it is hard for me to think of any reason to keep him at the club.
In this article, I will take a look at potential replacements for Moreno and find out their strengths, weaknesses and price tag, so that you can decide on who is the best man for the job of finishing off a strong defence for the redmen.
Closer To Home
This is an idea that many fans are very unsure about, James Milner has shown he can defend, but the question is can he hold a permanent position in the side playing in a defensive role. The Englishman has previously played as a central defensive midfielder and can play on both the left and right hand side of the park. During pre-season Jurgen has experimented by putting Milner in a defensive role, and he has looked decent, which is more than can be said for Moreno most of the time. Whether the boss is willing to make this change permanent is yet to be seen, but personally I would not be totally satisfied with a player with very little experience in that role rounding off the defensive line, but it’s worth baring in mind Milner has the ability to step in if we need him, and he would bring much more defensive qualities to the party than Alberto Moreno would, after all he has shown he is not afraid to use his physical attributes to his advantage when defending for his side in the past.
Jonas Hector- Cologne
You may have heard of this man; Jonas Hector is a 24 year old German international, who has recently appeared at left back for his country at this years European championships in France. He showed he is a very safe pair of hands in this position, and can also provide support in an attacking sense too. Germany head coach Jogi Low shares the same problem as Liverpool: a lack of genuine full backs, which is why the Cologne man has had his chance to shine, and is now thought of as a permanent fixture for his country.
Strengths and Weaknesses
At 6’1 Jonas Hector is very handy when it comes to defending set pieces, which is another thing Liverpool have struggled with over the years, he is comfortable in one on one situations, and enjoys breaking down the left hand side to help his team out in attack, whether that is with or without the ball. It is worth noting however, he has been criticised by some for his lack of strength and tendency to be nudged off the ball quite easily Toward the end of last season he was played in a central defensive midfield role,which further emphasises his ability to get forward and shows he can provide other options for Jurgen Klopp to utilise if needed and with Klopp’s knowledge of the Bundesliga, he will be very aware of his strengths and weaknesses and play him to the best of his ability. Although Hector, might not be as dynamic, he is certainly a much safer bet in the full back position for the reds than Moreno, and with a price tag of £20m he is no cheap option.
“Because of his game intelligence Jonas is a player who has mastered all the positions on which it comes to organisation, playmaking and order”
– Koln boss Peter Stoger.
Personally, I think Jonas Hector is a very strong outfit to replace Moreno, and presents a skill that Moreno simply doesn’t have: the ability to defend crosses. Because of this, I think he is definitely worth the price tag his club have given him, whether Jurgen Klopp agrees is yet to be seen, but I think he will fit in well to our new “Gegenpressing” style of play.
Jetro Willems- PSV
Here’s a slightly less known option:
Jetro Willems is a 22 year old Dutch Left Back, who has been subject to many rumours in the past few weeks after he posted a picture of his face edited on Wijnaldum’s body when signing for the reds on his personal snapchat last month, he also tweeted Wijnaldum and said “See you soon many think this means he interested in joining Liverpool, so lets have a look what he would bring to the table if he was to join us.
Strength and weaknesses
Willems is only 22, but has become an essential piece of the jigsaw for the current PSV side. Him and Manchester United player Memphis Depay had a brilliant partnership during Memphis’ time at the Dutch side, He is not only very strong on the ball, but also provides a fantastic attacking threat for his side, frequently breaking down the left hand side. He managed an impressive 12 assists and on average made 2.5 key passes per game in his best season, but unfortunately only making 15 appearances last season due to a serious injury he picked up at the start of the campaign. Like Hector he is also very confident in one on one situations both when defending and as an attacker! He is however, very similar to Moreno in the fact that he is a much weaker defender than he is an attacker, frequently criticised for his positioning woes, and his poor disciplinary record ( 9 yellows and one red card last season.) My only other concern is that the Eredivisie is simply not up to the standard of the Premier League, and that he will be a completely different player after the shock of a much harder league.
Whether Jurgen Klopp is willing to take a risk on the Dutchman is yet to be decided, but personally I think that the risk is too great, I don’t think we can afford to be spending £15m on a player that is very similar to Alberto Moreno.
Written by Marcus Holdsworth (@Kloppitey) 4/8/2016