Alberto Moreno is proving everyone wrong, so could he have a future at Liverpool?

Alberto Moreno is proving everyone wrong, so could he have a future at Liverpool?

The Spanish full-back has made a flying start to the new season, showing a side Liverpool fans never knew he had.

matt-addison
Matt Addison

Liverpool have made a pretty solid start to the season, with the disappointing opening day draw away at Watford long forgotten in the wake of four victories on the bounce, including qualification for the Champions League.

Crucial to those wins over 1899 Hoffenheim and Arsenal was attacking prowess, but at the back, one man has begun the campaign surprisingly well.

Alberto Moreno was not even meant to be a Liverpool player anymore, it was widely anticipated he would have been sold earlier in the summer, with an £11 million bid turned down for his services from Napoli.

Watford were also among the teams credited with an interest, but that never solidified, and suddenly the Spaniard found himself back in contention.

Liverpool would have sold for £15 million, but no such offer arrived.

Turning it around

He performed magnificently against Bayern Munich in pre-season, but that appeared more of an anomaly than a switch in a trend.

Moreno had been disastrous defensively on many an occasion, time and time again being the fulcrum when Liverpool's defence was at its poorest, and one game was not enough to prove he had turned a corner.

Going forward, he usually offered something, typified by his goal against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in 2014, but at the back he was always a calamity waiting to happen.

Often, the wait was only a short one, with performances against Arsenal, Sevilla and others enough to persuade Jurgen Klopp to limit him to only two league appearances throughout the whole of last season.

Diving into tackles and rash positioning was very common, whilst defending with his hands behind his back to prevent being penalised for handball infuriated many as he unnecessarily hindered his movement.

The start of this season, however, has been completely different.

Bayern Munich was not a one-off, it seems, with Moreno able to be solid for long periods, and able to link up well with Sadio Mane in an attacking sense too.

There have been mistakes – a shocking pass that went straight to an Arsenal player on Sunday, inviting pressure onto the backline, received shouts of despair from all sides of Anfield, and some suggested he was at fault for at least one of Hoffenheim’s goals over the two-legged tie – but generally, Moreno has looked a different, more determined, player.

The defending with hands behind his back remains, but his positioning and tackling ability have been vastly improved.

So big has the turn-around been that Moreno won more tackles this weekend than any other Premier League player. Arsenal admittedly offered a weak and limited threat, but that is impressive nonetheless.

Ready to challenge

Last season, James Milner was the preferred option, and as much as he did the job capably, by the end of May, another option was needed.

Having a left-footed left-back capable of going around the outside and putting in balls – ridiculous as it sounds – is refreshing to see.

Andrew Robertson, who played very well against Crystal Palace, does the same thing, and in the long-term might be the chosen number one left-back, but for now, Moreno is doing everything right.

Keep up this kind of performance level, and he might well have a future at Liverpool after all.

It is a cliché, but so far Moreno is like a new signing. Long may he continue to prove people wrong.

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