When news came out of Anfield that the Alberto Moreno deal was close to completion I could not hide my delight. The Spaniard is the perfect fit for Brendan Rodgers system, and will instantly slot into his free flowing football.
Moreno as you all know is primarily a left back, but he is more than capable of playing in midfield because of his technical strength. Moreno is 22 years old and a Spanish international, having been named in the 30 man provisional squad for the summer’s World Cup. He was also a key part of Sevilla’s Europa League winning team last season, playing 10 games.
Something that is quite interesting is that overall Moreno had a better season than Barcelona’s Jordi Alba. Alba may have made on 15 appearances in La Liga last year, but he only averaged 1.5 interceptions. Moreno however was a whole interception per game better than him at 2.5, totalling him at 73 for the season.
So what does this stat tell us about Moreno? Well, it tells us he likes to be on the front foot and is always looking to push his team up the pitch. Which is the sort of thing that Brendan is looking for, and I am sure the boss cannot wait to see him pushing teams back into their own halves with his quick pressing.
A potential weakness that Moreno possesses is his tackling ability, of which he only completed 1.8 per game on average last season. Compare that with Jon Flanagan who was completing 3.4 tackles per game, in order for Moreno to succeed he will have to improve on that sort of statistic. The Premier League is one of the most defensively demanding in the world and I am sure Brendan will get that through to Moreno very quickly.
But do not fear Liverpool fans, as he will be constantly covered by the likely centre back partnership of Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren .
Moreno has now given Brendan Rodgers his own back four, one that will constantly play on the front foot with Sakho and Lovren always pressing high. As well as Manquillo or Flanagan who we know are ambitious full backs, who love to get forward.
My favourite part about Moreno is his attacking ability though. Brendan cannot help buying technically gifted players -even in defence.
Moreno scored three goals for Sevilla in La Liga last season, not a bad return for a full back. He also created 19 chances for his team last season, again more than Alba and Flanagan.
Remember when everybody talked about Alba as the best attacking full back on the planet? Moreno averaged twice as many completed dribbles last season, but of course this led to several turnovers. He also outscores him in the completed crosses column. I think one thing is for sure. Vicente Del Bosque made a mistake leaving this young lad at home.
For Liverpool I can only see this deal being beneficial to us this season. For £12million, we have a got a hard working, skillful and a high potential full back. I am normally the first to criticise Ian Ayre, but congratulations to him and his team, you have pulled off one of the bargains of the summer – even if it did take three months…