31 Aug 2016

Surprise Deal? Legend urges Liverpool to sign 'quality' £12m Arsenal outcast today as a replacement for Moreno

It's seven hours until the transfer window closes, and Liverpool fans will be hoping that Jurgen Klopp's stubbornness subsides long enough to allow the Reds to sign - at the bare minimum - another left-back. Over the weekend, Klopp reiterated once again that he's happy to shoehorn James Milner into the left-back role, but England legend Stuart Pearce as urged Klopp to reconsider, and insists he should raid Arsenal for a viable back-up option.

When asked today about full-back options, Pearce told Sky Sports:

"A good fit might be someone like Kieran Gibbs, who’s not playing at Arsenal. He’s got the experience, and needs first team football".

Gibbs was last linked with Liverpool in June, but two months later, Liverpool are still light on quality full-back cover.

Klopp recently claimed that he'd only sign a left-back if he found the 'perfect fit' for Liverpool, but are we to seriously believe that the club's vast network of scouts couldn't identify one viable, experienced, available option over the last 10 months? Give me a break. Klopp has had plenty of time to solve the left-back problem, and several other issues, but instead he has:

* Sh*tcanned all the club's back-up full-back options (Smith, Flanagan etc), and decided to play Milner out of position as a makeshift left-back.

* Sold a dedicated central midfielder (Allen), and bought an attacking midfielder (Wijnaldum) to play out of position in central midfield (with poor results so far)

* Left the club with only one midfielder who actually knows how to play DM, and is disciplined enough to do the job effectively (Lucas, who is regularly injured).

* Ignored and insulted Daniel Sturridge (by bringing him on in the 87th minute against Spurs), and played him out of position.

* Sanctioned a new 5-year deal for error-prone Simon Mignolet, then signed his replacement several months later.

* Marginalised and publicly criticised Sakho, and made it clear he wants him out of the club.

If Brendan Rodgers made these decisions, there'd be blood on the streets.

After last season's league debacle, Liverpool are currently 11th in the league, with 4 points out of a possible 9, and negative goal-difference. Additionally, poor full-back play is responsible (either directly or partially) for all of Liverpool's conceded goals this season. Unfortunately, Klopp's 'plan' doesn't appear to be any different to Brendan Rodgers:

* Slavish, pigheaded adherence to an ineffective style of football based on the manager's ingrained football philosophy (Tiki-Taka vs. Gegenpressing).

* Wasting money on the wrong players (Wijnaldum), and constantly using players out of position (Milner, Sturridge etc).

* Continuing to rely on players with a history of errors and/or gross inconsistency (Mignolet, Lallana, Moreno, for example) to the detriment of the team.

If Klopp continues in this manner, then - also like Rodgers - he will (deservedly) end up on the Anfield scrapheap.

At this point, I have zero faith in Klopp's ability to get Liverpool into the top four this season, but I am happy to be proven wrong, and if Klopp manages to achieve that feat, I will be the first to praise him for it.

As for £12m-rated Gibbs - he can't get a game at Arsenal, which suggests that Wenger doesn't trust his defensive abilities, and at the age of 26, he's unlikley to significantly improve.

Despite this, he's probably a better option than Moreno, which is another sad indictment of the club's current full-back options.

* Jan 2016: Described by Arsene Wenger as a 'quality player'


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