When you look to sign a new left back, one of the first things that you should look for is a man who can actually defend. In 2014, Liverpool paid Sevilla £12 million for the services of Alberto Moreno. After making nearly 50 Premier League appearances for the Reds, the Spaniard remains a liability at the back, and continues to cost Liverpool points.
Last season, Brendan Rodgers often deployed a system with three centre backs, meaning that Moreno was slightly out of the way when it came to defending. He is much more effective as a left wing-back because it allows him to focus more on his attacking side of the game, something he is much better at.
When he was played at left-back, he looked like a fish out of water. During his debut against Manchester City, he was responsible for Stevan Jovetic’s opener after his inability to clear, as Liverpool lost 3-1. Later on in the season, he was caught out of position for both of Juan Mata’s goals as his international team mate found space in behind him, with Manchester United winning 2-1.
After the sacking of the Irishman Rodgers, Moreno spoke of his “inner anger” at being left out of the side in favour of youngster Joe Gomez. The 22-year-old said “I perhaps felt that Brendan didn’t have quite so much confidence in me, certainly at the start of this season. He told me I was training hard but then I didn’t feature for those first five or six games.”
From the poor defensive displays that he put in, you can’t blame Rodgers for leaving him out. When new manager Jurgen Klopp turned to him in the game away at Chelsea, Moreno once again showed why he isn’t a trustworthy left back.
He was once again caught out of position as Cesar Azpilicueta, ironically a Spanish full-back who has perfectly found the balance between defence and attack to help him become one the top players in his position in the country, found space in behind Moreno to set up Ramires to score.
For Moreno, he seems to be another Spaniard who grew up as a winger and became a full-back, simply because there was no one else in the position. He poses an obvious threat when he goes forward, but going the other way, he looks a bit lost.
Now January has come around, Klopp may take the opportunity to sign a left-back that he can trust defensively. If he can find a way to play Moreno in a more attacking position, the former Sevilla man may begin to finally show his worth in the Premier League.