According to the Mirror, Liverpool have identified Villarreal’s Mario Gaspar as the ideal replacement for ageing full-back Glen Johnson.
The England international has admitted he could walk away from Anfield in the near future, as his contract runs down, with the Mirror pinpointing Serie A side Roma as a possible destination.
As such, boss Brendan Rodgers could well be tasked with bringing in a new full-back this summer and the Reds have allegedly already started to do their homework on Villarreal’s Mario Gaspar.
“Liverpool are eyeing Villarreal right-back Mario Gaspar. They watched the Spanish under-21 defender in Villarreal's Europa League defeat to Sevilla on Thursday night,” the report claims.
The former Spanish U21 international has been an ever-present for the La Liga outfit this season, starting 21 top flight matches.
|League||Tackles per Game||Interceptions per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Aerial Duels won per Game||Fouls per Game||Completed Passes per Game||Appearances|
|Javier Manquillo||Premier League||2.1||2.2||2.4||1.2||0.2||31.2||10|
|Glen Johnson||Premier League||1.23||1.31||2.15||1.31||0.54||27.69||13|
|Mario Gaspar||La Liga||3.3||2.4||2.8||1||0.9||38.1||22|
He can be described as a marauding right-back that likes to attack the opposition, but as per the table provided by Opta Stats he certainly doesn’t abandon his defensive duties.
In comparison to the Reds’ current right-backs, Javier Manquillo and Glen Johnson, Mario Gaspar – commonly known as Mario at El Madrigal – comes out favourably.
He averages more tackles, interceptions and clearances than the Merseyside duo per encounter and with three La Liga goals to his name, he seemingly knows where the opposition net is.
The Mirror go on to say that the Anfield outfit have competition from Barcelona for his signature and despite his glowing references, the Yellow Submarines are allegedly willing to sell for a cut-price £7 million fee.