- Name: Alberto Moreno Pérez
- Age: 21
- Nationality: Spain
- Position: Left full-back
- Current club: Sevilla FC
- Height: 1.72m
- Preferred foot: Left
Career to date:
As of yet in his still youthful stages of his career, Moreno has remained at Sevilla for the 3 years of his professional stint, and was present in their academy in previous years too. He has varied his playing time between the first team and their B side, gaining valuable match day experience by doing so. This is a much employed system in Spain and it seems that it certainly assists player development in both short and long term. With Moreno’s signature being highly sought after, there is much debate as to where the next stage of his club career will take him.
Internationally, he has only accrued 3 caps to date. He is of course fighting against both Jordi Alba and Cesar Azpilicueta for the left back spot, and so still being at the tender age of 21, it cannot be expected to be an International regular just yet. Moreno has also missed out on making the cut from the preliminary World Cup squad to the final 23, but you feel that if Spain had taken 8 defenders rather than 7, he may well have been that extra man. His future with the Spanish national side is still bright though, if he continues to make waves in the domestic scene.
As is seemingly the case with all full-backs in the top echelons of the game these days, Alberto Moreno is a real force to be reckoned with going forward. He may not have the biggest physical stature, but his low centre of gravity and a determined attitude means that he is not easily knocked off the ball.
The Spaniard’s acceleration off the mark is terrific and he can also reach quite a top speed, allowing him to overlap his winger readily. This will help his team either directly when he supplies a cross, or indirectly by dragging opposition’s attention away from the ball-carrier. When watching him sprint down the flanks, it is obvious why he has also been deployed as an out and out winger in his career.
Alberto Moreno possesses a fantastic engine that allows him to use the other strengths in his game for a full 90 minutes. While others are tiring, he can continue to bomb up and down the pitch and towards the end of matches, this retained energy is vital.
Moreno stands at only 5 feet 7 inches and so commonly gives away a significant height advantage to opposition attackers. It is not a rarity for full-backs to be some of the shortest members of a side, but these days you will often see physical works of art filling these positions too. His size is not too much of a concern, but should be a factor if his prospective side is already not particularly dominant in the air.
The pacy Spaniard is not the best at tackling, instead often choosing to shepherd his opponent away from danger or using the touch line as an extra defender. While this shows a good tactical understanding of the game, it would be reassuring to see him put in a firm tackle from time to time. One feels that if he moves to a Premier League club, this is a part of his game that will be scrutinised and may have to improve.
Due to his tendency to support his team’s attacks with such vigour, Moreno does inevitably leave some space in behind him for the opposition to exploit if the attack breaks down. This trait is hardly limited to him in the modern era, but the fact that he is blessed with supreme speed means that he is able to recover much faster than many others would. In the times when most sides employ at least one holding midfielder who is usually adept at covering their team mates’ position during a vacancy, it is a matter that is not too pressing.
Alberto Moreno’s name became on everyone’s lips after some dazzling displays for Sevilla in the league campaign that has just finished. He was one of his club’s star performers along with Ivan Rakitic and as such, both have been rumoured with moves away to massive clubs. In Moreno’s case, he has been linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Chelsea, but up to this point in time, the rumours remain unsubstantiated. It seems as though Liverpool have stolen a march on all their rivals with an early bid and the player himself is understood to be keen to complete the move. The Anfield club do seem to be at an advanced stage in negotiations at this point, making it a surprise were the move not to be completed sooner rather than later.
It is often the case in modern day football that finding an absolutely top drawer full-back is a very difficult task. Therefore, when you have selected one that fits your side, the price can be disproportionately high. For example, when Manchester United were heavily linked with a deal for Everton left-back Leighton Baines, the sum in question was in the region of £20 million, even for a player fast approaching the threshold of 30 years old. Alberto Moreno does not have the multiple years of top level performances behind him yet to command such a fee, but at the mere age of 21, he has time on his side and could well develop into a full-back of comparable ability to the England man. Therefore, the valuation of approximately £17 million that Liverpool have apparently placed on him with their bid could well prove to be an absolute bargain. Moreno is in the same mould as Barcelona’s Jordi Alba and when you make this reasonable comparison, it can be seen how worthwhile the signing could prove to be.
A good signing?:
Alberto Moreno is one of the most promising young full-backs in the game today, exhibiting all the abilities necessary to succeed at the top level. His performances for the last 18 months in particular have attracted the praise of some of the most respected footballing brains, and so there must be something to him. It is time now I feel for the Spaniard to leave his long-time home in Sevilla and to really test himself at a Champions League club also competing for the league title. He would make a fantastic signing for almost any club, particularly ones who have a weakness or lack of depth at left-back. His utility as a left-sided midfielder could also be priceless; allowing him to cover 2 positions in the squad at once. Furthermore, it is easy to spend £20 million on a top class full-back these days, and so to acquire Moreno for anything less than that would be a fantastic deal.