A long-term injury to Spaniard Jose Enrique left Liverpool short at left back, forcing right sided Glen Johnson or Jon Flanagan to fill in. They performed well, but a longer term solution must be brought in this summer, and whilst a deal appeared close for Sevilla star Alberto Moreno, that now looks dead - leaving Rodgers to look elsewhere.
That has led to speculation that Rodgers will target two left backs currently playing at the World Cup in Brazil; Sporting Lisbon's Rojo and Wolfsburg's Rodriguez, who have both started every game so far at the tournament. Based on a small sample of 180 minutes, which of these two full backs has fared better?
|Team||Pos||Aerial Won||Aerial Lost||Apps||Mins|
Improving the defence should be Rodgers' primary concern, and Daniel Agger's issues with aerial battles has been the source of much concern for Liverpool fans. If Rodgers feels the same way, then he will no doubt be interested to see that Rodriguez and Rojo have both been effective in the air so far. Rodriguez has been tested in the air the most, winning 70% of those aerial duels, but Rojo edges it having won 75%. The former Spartak Moscow man plays at centre back domestically for Sporting Lisbon, so it's no surprise to see him fare well in the air.
|Team||Pos||Total Tackle||Total Clearance||Apps||Mins|
With so many attack-minded players at Anfield, Rodgers needs players who can break down attacks quickly and set away the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez away on the counter attack. So far at the World Cup, Rodriguez has answered many of the questions surrounding his defensive capabilities by making almost twice as many tackles as Rojo, and more clearances too. It's worth noting that Switzerland have been put under more pressure than Argentina so far though given their respective fixture lists.
|Team||Pos||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Apps||Mins|
Contributing to the attacking phase is equally important in modern football, and it's no surprise that Rodriguez has been more consistent with his end product into the box, including two assists against Ecuador from crosses into the box. Rojo is primarily a more defensively minded full back than Rodriguez is, and it has shown in the statistics so far - but Rodriguez, who is three years younger than the Argentine, has so far proven that he is an all round excellent left back.
For that reason, whilst Rodgers should be pursuing both players, Rodriguez has so far shown that he should be the priority.