Dylan Gerstley describes what Alberto Moreno has to do to succeed at Liverpool.
Loyalty is rare in modern football as money rules the roost and the hearts of men.
Graziano Pelle recently closed up a deal that will see him make €40 million in the next two and a half years in the Chinese Super League. The Italian striker was successful in the Premier League and could have certainly continued to compete and win matches for Southampton, but the man chose to continue his career in China in a league miles away from Premier League standard.
This flippant and incessant desire for wealth has made loyalty and passion for a club in the modern game priceless. Players would rather jump ship and grow their bank balance than grow their reputation and legacy with fans that cherish them.
For Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno, the same cannot be said. The much maligned left back has been a constant fixture in the starting XI since his arrival on Merseyside but fans have criticized the Spaniard for his constant forays forward and perceived lack of defensive effort and commitment.
There is no doubt Moreno has seen the criticism directed at him but the left back has kept on chugging. It is clear in training photos and even in his poor performances, that Moreno loves playing for Liverpool and loves the club and the shirt he wears. A passionate player that will give his all for a club is rare and extremely precious in the game of money, but Liverpool have such a player in Moreno.
The left back is just one of many attack minded full backs now flooding the modern game and very few are as polished defensively as their positional constraint would imply. Still, it does not excuse the diminutive Spaniard from his bone headed positioning that allows him to be caught out so easily.
If Moreno can improve his defensive position and awareness, he could be an instrumental cog in Klopp’s attacking, gegenpressing machine. He could plug passing lanes and be in better positions to snuff out opposition attacks down the wing.
Moreno is one of the fastest on the pitch whenever he plays and with an improved defensive mentality, he could easily help Liverpool quickly transition into lethal attacks. Klopp has added firepower to an already impressive forward line and with Moreno able to provide incisive runs or passes with his pace, goals should come even more frequently for Liverpool.
It is clear Moreno needs to learn a lot from the German tactician but if anyone can teach him, it will be Klopp. A powerful motivator like the current Liverpool manager coupled with Moreno’s love for the club should make it an easier task to gain defensive solidity and stability.
Alberto Moreno may make poor defensive decisions, but his pace and attacking guile will grant him one last chance on Merseyside. His love for the club is apparent, and Klopp will appreciate that, but if this season does not pan out for the Spaniard, it is over.