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27 May 2016

Anfield-bound: Klopp impressed by 'adventurous' €8m attacker who wants to 'play for Liverpool' next season

After a year on-loan at Deportivo La Coruna, 'adventurous' Liverpool attacker Luis Alberto is heading back to Anfield this summer, and it appears that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is willing to give the Spaniard a chance to fight for a first-team place next season.

When asked this week about Alberto's immediate future, his agent, Alvaro Torres, told Spanish newspaper Marca:

"He [Alberto] will attend the pre-season with Liverpool. The first thing is to talk with Liverpool and see what opinion they have ".

According to the Liverpool Echo, Klopp's 'opinion' appears to be positive:

"Alberto has impressed Klopp with his displays at Deportivo [and] Liverpool are happy for [Alberto] to return and fight for his place, the ECHO understands".

Thi is good news for Alberto, who, earlier this month, admitted':

“The new manager is extra motivation to return. I spoke with Klopp...and [it was] positive. The chance to play for Liverpool is not presented very often".

Alas, he also noted:

"I would love to play in the Europa League or Champions League next season".

Bummer! Alberto's stats this season:

* 6 goals/8 assists in 31 games (One every 152 mins).

* Averaged 71 minutes of playing time per game.

* 31 chances created (1 every 68 minutes)

* Three separate injuries (Thigh, achilles, and groin). 74 days out injured. 11 games missed.

A decent creative return, but not enough to break into Liverpool's starting line-up. It might be enough to achieve regular bench duty next season, but at the age of 23, Alberto needs to be playing regular first-team football, and he has that at Deportivo.

Additionally, Alberto's best position is central attacking midfielder (i.e. number-10), and that's the role he's played most often for Deportivo. With Coutinho, Lallana, and Firmino, Liverpool are oversubscribed in that position, which will make it even harder for Alberto to get regular game time (Just ask Teixeira!).

In my view, a return to Anfield is tantamount to career suicide; if the opportunity arises, Alberto should just stay with Deportivo, or sign for another team that offers regular football.

^May 2016: Alberto confirmed that he cost Liverpool €8m.


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