After a solid Premier League comeback at Crystal Palace, what next for Alberto Moreno?

Can the Spaniard find his way back into Jürgen Klopp's thinking, after impressing against Spurs and Palace?

After a solid Premier League comeback at Crystal Palace, what next for Alberto Moreno?
Moreno in training at Melwood (photo; Getty Images / John Powell)

After two resurgent performances in the space of a week, is Alberto Moreno's Liverpool career at yet another turning point?

You'd have been forgiven for thinking that Moreno was dead and buried at the club just a few weeks ago, with the Spaniard having not made a Premier League appearance since the opening weekend, limited to League Cup starts against the likes of Burton Albion and Derby County

Milner ahead in the pecking order 

There was a reason for this of course, with manager Jürgen Klopp having deemed Moreno as too unreliable, preferring James Milner at left-back after Moreno's horror-show against Arsenal on that opening Sunday.

Since then, Milner - converted from midfield to full-back - has come un and been as solid and could be expected, with his knack for penalty scoring another valued addition to the Liverpool team.

Things looked bleak for Moreno, with reports suggesting that he could be on his way back to Spain sooner rather than later, but after two decent performances in the last week, is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Two solid performances

His first start in the two game spell came against Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup, and Moreno put in a solid performance at left-back as Liverpool won 2-1. Often lambasted for too-often sprinting out of position, he kept his position fairly well on the night as Tottenham were frustrated going forward. 

Despite this, the real story was when an illness to James Milner brought Moreno into contention for Saturday's game away at Crystal Palace, Moreno handed a starting-berth in the league for the first time in over two months.

There were worries, for understandable reasons, that the likes of Wilfried Zaha would run riot at Selhurst Park, especially given Zaha's excellent form this season.

However, Reds fans were pleasantly surprised to see Moreno deliver what many considered to be a 7/10 performance, on hand to help Liverpool as they delivered wave after wave of attack, even striking the post after being set up by Philippe Coutinho.

Of course, as you'd expect, Moreno's performance wasn't perfect, some disappointed that he failed to stop Zaha's cross for Palace's second goal, although most of the blame fell at Dejan Lovren's door for failing to outjump 5ft 9" James McArthur

Bar that, Moreno was fairly confident defensively, using his pace to frustrate Zaha for the duration, also forcing the winger to track back and help defend, somewhat nulifying his attacking threat.

Klopp pleased with the young defender

Klopp seemed fairly pleased, stating after the game "There was never a doubt about Alberto, he’s a young player, he needs to learn a lot of things.

But he’s still young, and you can learn things. When you see he’s quick, good left foot, good attitude, runs up and down, up and down, it’s nice for a manager working with boys like this."

Moreno's performance won't quite have put him straight back into the preferred XI, with Milner expected to return for Sunday's game at home to Watford, but it certainly raised a question over how he could potentially be used a little more in the coming weeks and months. 

You would certainly expect Moreno to keep his place for the League Cup quarter final against Leeds United, with the semi-final likely to come as Liverpool are heavy favourites for that one.

Where does Moreno get league minutes?

It could be suggest that there's a place for Moreno against certain teams in the league. Although Milner has obvious qualities going forward, the fact he often has to cut inside onto his right foot often narrow's the space for Liverpool going forward, making them easier to defend. Having Moreno as a left-footed outlet may be useful for the likes of Philippe Coutinho, who linked up well with Moreno against Palace.

Adding to that, Moreno's pace gives him another advantage over Milner, possibly against teams like Palace. Liverpool will face counter-attacking teams lots during this season, due to their quality under Klopp. Moreno may be less effective against the West Brom type teams, who aim to trouble the Reds with long balls and set-pieces, but more effective than Milner against your Crystal Palace's, who rely on the speed of their winger's to create chances on the breakaway. 

Therefore, Miner may be the better option for Watford on Sunday, as well as Sunderland after the international break, but shortly after Leeds, Moreno may be knocking on Klopp's door in a bid to keep former Red Jordon Ibe from making an impact in AFC Bournemouth vs Liverpool, on December 4.

Whichever minutes he manages to get before the January window, Moreno's last two performances will certainly have helped him attain them, and more good performances might just lead him on the path to a stronger future at Liverpool.