Liverpool have reportedly agreed a five-year deal with transfer target Alberto Moreno, with the deal being held back by a disagreement over the fee with parent club Sevilla.
Moreno’s arrival at Anfield will solve a left-back problem, which Brendan Rodgers had to deal with periodically last season.
Initially, he tried out new signing Mamadou Sakho in that position before eventually using Glen Johnson on the left, settling for Jon Flanagan in that position by the end of the season.
Moreno’s transfer means Liverpool will have three very good full-backs on their hands and it could be 21-year-old Flanagan who is forced to watch the start of the Premier League campaign from the dugout.
Moreno will start at left-back, without a doubt. It would be ridiculous for the club to spend £18 million on a left sided defender only to use a right footed player in that position, regardless of how well they played last season.
While Flanagan was competitive in a number of defensive areas last season compared to Glen Johnson, it’s the older of the right-backs who is likely to get the nod, meaning Flanagan will be Liverpool’s third choice full-back at the start of next season.
|Club||Pos||Blocked Cross||Won Tackle||Effective Clearance||Duel Won||Interception Won||Apps||Mins|
Johnson is England’s starting right-back for the World Cup, whereas Flanagan is simply a reserve player.
Brendan Rodgers, like any other top flight coach, is likely to watch as many matches as possible at the tournament which starts next week and he’ll obviously be keeping a close eye on his Liverpool players.
Should Johnson play well against Italy, Uruguay, Costa Rica and any other country England subsequently meet, it could further convince the boss that he should start at right-back when the new season gets under way.
It shouldn’t be seen as a knock back or anything negative for Flanagan, merely another challenge and opportunity for him to prove his quality to the Anfield side during an important campaign.
Sides naively focused on Flanagan as a weakness in Liverpool’s back four last season and if they take the same approach, considering him a back up player, they’ll be equally misguided next season.