£8m ex-Liverpool winger released on a free - Konoplyanka alternative?

Lucas Shirt Liverpool

Liverpool missing out on Yevhen Konoplyanka was one of the stories of transfer deadline day, but could they still sign an alternative?

Could it possibly be that Liverpool still do add a player this season?

The free agent market is hardly blessed with talent, illustrated by Eric Djemba-Djemba's deal with St Mirren yesterday, but there is one recently released player who stands out.

Former Manchester City loanee and Liverpool winger Albert Riera, who has just been let go by Galatasaray.

The 16 time-capped Spanish international was released due to new additions meaning the club had too many foreign players, and he was the unlucky one to be cut.

Riera's contract was cancelled at the end of the month, with him paid €750,000 to settle up.

The winger told Turkish TV: "I'm having mixed feelings. I'm sorry to be leaving Galatasaray. I'm happy because I was here 2.5 years and gained great success. I have worked with notable players and coaches."

It's certainly a blow to the 31-year-old, for he now misses out on any potential inclusion for the upcoming Champions League clashes with Chelsea.

Riera had played in 13 games for Galatasaray this year, including five in the Champions League, scoring once.

West Bromwich Albion boss Pepe Mel has been linked with a move to snap him up, but should former side Liverpool show an interest?

Riera knows the club, signing for them in 2008 for £8 million, scoring five and assisting five in his debut season. His second saw him fall out with manager Rafa Benitez, which ultimately led to his departure from the club.

Liverpool were on the lookout for a left-winger, firstly with Mohamed Salah and secondly Yevhen Konoplyanka. Riera signed until the end of the season could provide them with a short-term option and extra cover.

Importantly the Spaniard is a very capable left-back, featuring there as a starter on occasions for Galatasaray this season. 

Liverpool's loan signing Aly Cissokho has consistently under-performed, and added competition could yet ensure the club are not found wanting.

Short-term deals such as this are not the norm for Liverpool, but considering Riera's pedigree, previous experience of the league and club, availabilty, and their transfer failures, bringing him in has to be worth a conversation among the club hierarchy. 

image: © Ben Sutherland

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