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Scouting Liverpool’s £15m Left Back Target From Spain

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Alberto Moreno
Alberto Moreno

Liverpool are the latest club to be linked with a move for Sevilla’s young left back Alberto Moreno. They will be joining a host of other European heavyweights, including the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United, who will be queuing up in Seville in the summer as the race for Spanish International heats up. It has been reported that Moreno would cost as much as £15m for the Reds.

Moreno is a product of Sevilla’s excellent Cantera which has in the recent past has produced the likes of Sergio Ramos and Jesus Navas, and he has progressed through the ranks quite quickly since he joined the club as a 13 year old. He was promoted to Sevilla’s B side in 2011 and in April, he got his first team debut in the defeat at Athletic Bilbao.

Since then, Moreno has continued to impress for the B side and made himself a regular in the senior team with his impressive performances. In the 2012-13 season, Moreno made 15 league appearances and 2 Copa appearances for Sevilla while he has become first choice this season ahead of the more seasoned Fernando Navarro.

This season, Moreno has 32 appearances in all competitions and has been one of the most consistent left backs in La Liga. His performances have been rewarded with a call from the Spanish national team, where he made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in November when Jordi Alba was injured.

Moreno is the typical modern full back – he is quick, athletic and always willing to get forward. He possesses a great engine and has been great in providing width to the junior Spanish teams which like their seniors before them lack natural wide players. Moreno provides a genuine threat in the opposition half through his willingness to go forward and make runs in behind his opposite full-back.

The major shortcoming of Moreno is that despite him getting into great areas, his crossing has let him down at times. He has at times been deployed in a more advanced role on the left wing by Sevilla, and even though he has managed 3 league goals, he hasn’t been creating enough chances (14 in 21 appearances) considering the positions he gets in. He is a good passer of the ball and he regularly receives the ball from the goalkeeper in order to link up with midfielders and starting attacks.

However, despite his short stature (5’7”), Moreno is no pushover when it comes to aerial duels. In fact he has won 48% of the 44 aerial duels he has been a part of in the league. Moreno possesses a great leap and he uses his good upper body strength to hold his own against bigger players, unlike a lot of other lightweight defenders.

Moreno lacks the pace of someone like Jordi Alba but he more than makes up for it with his reading of the game. His ability to sweep and clean up behind defenders suggests a mature football brain beyond his comparatively tender years. He is also mature in the sense that he isn’t a defender who lunges into challenges. He is willing to stay on his feet till the last possible moment and after showing the attacker where he wants them, Moreno makes the tackle.

At Liverpool, he would be a great addition for the future as he will be able to continue his development under the watchful eyes of manager Brendan Rodgers who has been instrumental in the recent development of the likes of Sterling, Suso and Flanagan. Moreno is a fairly timid character and has been below the radar so far, and at Liverpool, he will have the perfect chance to keep his head down and continue his progress.

Stats via TransferMarkt and Squawka

Watch Alberto’s performance against Equatorial Guinea