Liverpool: Arsenal battle for Italian; defender's days numbered; Matip discusses AFCON
Despite statements to the contrary, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes that Alberto Moreno is nearing the end of his time at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp persists with James Milner at left-back. The Spaniard hasn’t featured for the Reds since a substitute appearance in defeat at Burnley, and hasn’t started since the opening day victory over Arsenal in which he conceded a penalty. Carragher told Talksport:
“He obviously rates him [James Milner] higher than Moreno. If you’re a left-back and the manager is playing a right midfielder ahead of you it probably tells you time is up at the club, so I would imagine in January or the end of the season a left-back will come in… I must say he [Milner] has done very well but at this stage of his career it is not easy, but I don’t think it could last for a full season.”
It would not be a surprise to see Moreno move on given the Spaniard’s poor form over the last year. Signed from Sevilla in 2014 as a rising star, the pacey left-footer has failed to capitalise on his potential and has struggled defensively at times when he has crept too far upfield, which at times has cost his side, never more than in last season’s Europa League final.
There is good news in defence though as the Liverpool Echo claim that free transfer signing Joel Matip is likely to remain at the club rather than head to the African Cup of Nations in January. He said:
“I would say at the moment I will be concentrating on Liverpool, it is a long time until January so you never know, but that is the idea.”
The news is a massive boost given Matip’s commanding performances at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, where he seems to be building an exciting new partnership with Dejan Lovren which could resolve what has become a problem position for the Reds in recent years. He explained his decision, saying that his new start at Anfield and the importance of staying fit have dictated him to think towards remaining at the club:
“Last year I had injury problems. The extra games and travelling were going to make it harder for me. I had to listen to my body and it told me that the international week was the right time to have a break. I spoke with the Cameroon manager and he was not happy, but I have to do what is right to be 100% and make sure I am not injured again, especially at an important time in my career starting at Liverpool.”
The club are also entering into a transfer battle with Arsenal over young Italian forward Andrea Belotti, as the Torino forward continues his fine run of form with four goals from his opening two league games in Serie A. Calciomercato claim that the two English clubs are amongst a host of European giants to be monitoring the 22-year-old.
However, the Italian club are said to be reluctant to sell and are hoping to hold on to their prized asset as they hope that he can fire them into a successful campaign as they continue to search for European football. That said, they may have to turn down some bids in January if they are to be successful.
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