Liverpool are reportedly on the lookout for a new left back – but did they let an ideal one slip for just under £9m?
The Reds came close to winning the Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers last season, but the defining point in the title race will without question by when Liverpool led Crystal Palace 3-0 heading into the final ten minutes, only for the defence to totally collapse as the Eagles hit three quick goals to hand Manchester City the crown.
Having witnessed the crumbling of the defence, Rodgers will now target reinforcements this summer, and left back has to be one of the priorities given how short the team were left after Spaniard Jose Enrique suffered a season-ending injury.
A number of names have already been linked with the club, including Sevilla's Alberto Moreno, Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez and Sporting Lisbon's Marcos Rojo, but they may have missed out on the perfect solution already.
Speculation over the past few months has seen Valencia left back Juan Bernat linked with a move to Anfield after a superb season in La Liga, and the 21-year-old has become one of the most sought after young defenders in Europe – especially after talks over a new contract ground to a halt in June.
And whilst Spurs were also linked with the youngster, they have all missed out as Bayern Munich have wrapped up an €11m (£8.75m) deal to take Bernat to Germany, where he will almost certainly compete with David Alaba for the left back spot in Pep Guardiola's starting XI – even if he is seen as one of the future.
That tag probably means that Bernat will be sat on the bench for a while, whereas he would surely have played a much bigger part at Liverpool. Bernat has earned favourable comparisons to another former left sided Valencia winger-turned-full-back Jordi Alba, because of his pace and energy in attack.
He fits the profile of a Liverpool player right now; young, vibrant, pacey and able to hurt teams offensively. For just £8.75m, Liverpool could have landed a solution to their left back woes, and whilst the lure of a huge club like Bayern may have been too much to turn down, the offer of an increased role in the team could have given the Reds a chance. Yet now, Rodgers must look to other potential targets in order to finally land a left back. Will he live to rue missing out on Bernat? Only time will tell...