By Ted Knutson (Editor of Stats Bomb).
This was going to be a search for left-backs, but after thinking about it, I kind of decided that Flani Alves might just be the future for Liverpool. He’s still a little raw, but the talent is definitely there, and it wouldn’t make much sense to buy someone that would make Flanagan sit on the bench for another couple of years.
Given the oft-injured condition of Glen Johnson, and the fact that he’ll be 30 when the next season starts, shopping for a right-back seems like a much better use of time right now. So that’s just what we’ll do.
(For those who want to know my LB recommendations, they match what I wrote for The Mirror last week [Link] except maybe Jetro, since Liverpool can’t really afford a roll of the dice on an expensive prospect there.)
1) Must be 27 or younger. This falls in line with Liverpool’s general transfer philosophy and is a nod to the fact that full-back is an extremely physically demanding position to play. Younger is better.
2) Must be potentially available. Daniel Carvajal is probably the best young right-back in the world at the moment, but he plays for Real Madrid. I also think Seamus Coleman is quite good, but Everton aren’t very likely to sell him and he has a contract through 2018. We’re still attached to reality here.
That’s it. With this purchase, Liverpool would likely be looking to fill the position for the future. Sure, it’s possible that one of the prospects that have cycled through the position as Johnson’s understudy will end up coming good, but I don’t think anyone is convinced of that likelihood at the moment.
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