Left-back, who was work permit away from Liverpool this summer, in shock €5m Russian move

Benfica V Liverpool

Lorenzo Melgarejo has joined Kuban Krasnodar of the Russian Premier League on Deadline Day.

One area in which Liverpool desperately needed to add this summer was at left-back, and in the end they have done just that. Not only have they snapped up Aly Cissokho from Valencia on loan, but they have also added Mamadou Sakho, who is capable of playing at left-back, from Paris Saint-Germain.

But before all these names became apparent targets for the club, it was a much more complicated name that was doing the rounds.

Liverpool attempted to sign Benfica wing-back Lorenzo Melgarejo this summer.

The Paraguayan was effectively signed by the club this summer on a season long loan deal, with a view to a permanent £8.5 million transfer in 2014.

To many is seemed an odd move. The player was considered out of form toward the end of last season - when the 22-year-old was increasingly left out of the Benfica starting line-up. In fact after March he featured in just two more games for the club, against Sporting Lisbon and Estoril, and was hauled off in the Europa League final against Chelsea after a poor display.

However, despite Liverpool’s interest, a deal never materialised because Melgarejo was refused a British work permit by the Home Office - a consequence of his paltry two caps for Los Guaranies.

But he is certainly an exciting talent, but it was quite clear from the get-go this season that Jorge Jesus was not a fan of the young talent anymore - and he was widely touted around the continent with several moves.

And yesterday he left Benfica, but not on loan, in a permanent move from the Portuguese club

His destination is just as surprising as Benfica’s decision to sell him, and not send him on loan, as he completed a move to Russian outfit Kuban Krasnodar.

Kuban finished last season fifth in the Russian Premier League and are certainly one of the country’s most ambitious clubs on the up. This summer they appointed promising manager Dorinel Munteanu as their new coach - the man responsible for the rise of Otelul Galati to Romanian champions in 2010. They also have talented players such as Ibrahima Balde, Djibril Cisse and Mohammed Rabiu in their ranks.

He has signed for the club for a fee believed to be in the region of €5 million - something of a bargain as far as Kuban are concerned.

As for Melgarejo, we are certain he is happy with his move.

But Kuban Stadium is far off Anfield.

Have Liverpool dodged a bullet with Melgarejo?

image: © plassen

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