Analysis: Liverpool target Jonas Hector in action for Cologne against Hoffenheim

Liverpool have been strongly linked with Cologne's Jonas Hector - who was in action against Hoffenheim on Sunday afternoon.

Given the recent reports, including one from the Mirror, and quotes surrounding the future of Jonas Hector, linking the Cologne left-back with a move to Liverpool in the summer, one or two Reds supporters may be keeping an eye on the performances of the Germany international in the Bundesliga

On Sunday afternoon, Cologne played out a 1-1 draw with strugglers Hoffenheim at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena as a Kevin Volland's stoppage time strike cancelled out Simon Zoller's opener for the Cologne. 

Having recently played in midfield, Hector was in his more natural position at left-back, though one can see why he was trusted to operate in the middle of the park by Cologne boss Peter Stoger.

The 25-year-old looks very comfortable in possession and doesn't appear to take many risks - often going for the more simple option rather than being anywhere near extravagant. 

That's not to say his passing range is limited, as when the ball has been on he does manage to spray a 40-yard pass cross field to keep his side on the front foot at certain periods.

Off the ball when defending, he appears to be more of a thinker than the current left-back Alberto Moreno. Though Hector doesn't have the pace in the Spaniard, when he is out of possession he's not rash.

He won't for example, allow his opponent to just touch the ball past him and either get away or draw the foul. 

One worry for him would be the pace of the game. This wasn't a game that started off particularly quickly, it started off slowly then gradually got quicker as both sides ventured forward after the initial exchanges. 

If you are looking for a quick summary of Hector's performance it would be that he had an assist to his name, coming about with an intelligent squared pass to Zoller just inside the penalty area, but that doesn't tell the entire story about the quality he offered in the final third - as in the first half dangerous looking cross agonisingly evaded Leonardo Bittencourt - if he had connected it would have surely found the net. 

Going forward he probably offer that little bit more quality than Moreno currently does, one worry would be when facing a counter-attack and he's pushed on higher up the field, while there wasn't much of a physical battle on show. Hector seemed quite content to just give the opposition a lot of attention and keep their backs to goal whenever they had the ball.

Hoffenheim's equaliser is an interesting one as it's hard to pin blame on him despite being very close to the scene of the crime.

Timo Horn made a save from Andrej Kramaric's effort that was pushed out to the left flank but Volland quickly followed up to put away the rebound. Some would argue Hector switched off a little, but it's hard to think what else he could do to prevent Volland getting on the end of the ball.

If the goal was to be prevented, many of his teammates had an opportunity to bring down Kramaric further upfield before he got his shot away.

Would he be worth a move on this evidence? He has many qualities that Liverpool don't have in that position.

Given the way Hector linked up with other players in the side such as Bittencourt, it's hard to think that he couldn't be the source of effective link-up play for the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana if were to make the switch to Merseyside, and for games against sides that like to put a lot of men behind the ball, he would provide that extra option to try and unlock the opposition. 

There's nothing rash about his defensive play, nothing perplexing about any of the challenges he puts and he has been part of a side that despite their mid-table record, they have been solid defensively since their return to the top flight a couple of seasons ago.

If he were to sign, on this evidence, expect a solid but probably unspectacular full-back.

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