Alex Rogers discusses Liverpool’s worrying left-back predicament and suggests what Jürgen Klopp can do to remedy the current situation.
Our left backs over the years have been somewhat disappointing. Arguably we’ve not had a good, consistent left back since John Arne Riise. With the transfer window soon to open and rumours rife with potential left back options, I think it’s time to assess what who should be our starting left at the beginning of next season.
Our current starting left back, Alberto Moreno, is controversial to say the least, with many fans turning against the young Spaniard. The mistakes that Moreno made at the beginning of his Liverpool career could be forgiven, the change in leagues and playing styles could give any young footballer a hard time.
Yet, with Moreno approaching his third season on Merseyside the mistakes are still there and it’s harder and harder to defend him. However selling him, as many fans have suggested, is definitely the wrong decision. With time and regular football, we could have a top quality left back on our hands. He has shown sparks of brilliance, I know these sparks are rare, they are still there and he could definitely improve under Klopp.
Leicester’s Ben Chillwell has been heavily linked with us in the last few weeks. The Englishman seems to be a young, up and coming prospect, and definitely Klopp’s type of player. A bid of £7 million has already been rejected for the 19 year old.
Chillwell spent two months at Huddersfield on loan last season and appeared 8 times for them and made quite the impression there. Still only being a teenager, he held his own against seasoned professionals. While very happy to do his defensive duties, he also apparently loves a run up the pitch to help out in attack.
However, he certainly is not the finished product and will need time to reach his full potential. Many fans think that our left back position needs someone with experience with our defence with a tendency to let in unnecessary goals over the last few years.
A man who doesn’t lack experience, however, is Jonas Hector of FC Köln. The German international has made a name for himself in the national team, making the left back position his own. With over 100 appearances in the Bundesliga, Hector is catching the eye of quite a few people.
A few weeks ago many people thought that a deal for the German was all but done, but alas, it was not to be. It’s looking less likely that we will see Hector at Anfield it seems.
A player that we have very recently been linked with is a young Scottish left back by the name of Andy Robertson. Robertson is seen as an alternative to Chillwell but the Scotsman is also seen as a promising youngster. In his first year of being a professional footballer with Dundee United he was named young player of the year in the SPL.
Since then he has made a move to Hull City and has failed to make the impact he did at Dundee. Maybe this is due to a harder league, or maybe it’s just poor management? As a Scot myself I’m inclined to over hype Scottish players and I’m finding it hard to stay unbiased with Robertson, but he did score against England that one time so for me that’s reason enough to sign him. But on a serious note, I could see Klopp bringing the best out of him.
However, I feel many people are forgetting about Joe Gomez. Yes I know people will argue that he is a centre back, but think back to the beginning of last season where he was unbelievably good for the club at left back. Maybe Gomez is the one who can solve our left back woes.
Gomez is still a teenager and has already proven to us that he can be good enough, is it so hard to believe that we could have him as our starting left back and Moreno as backup? It could be good for both of them, allowing Gomez to improve with first team football and Moreno to fight for his place and improve that way. Maybe we don’t need a new left back…
At the end of the day, it’s not our decision to make, it’s Klopp’s. I’d be very very happy with either one of the people we are linked with, but I don’t think it’d be the end of the world if we didn’t.