Liverpool are reportedly interested in Barcelona right backs Dani Alves, Martin Montoya and Uruguyan international Maxi Pereira.
Liverpool have endured a disappointing start to the season so far with only four wins from the opening 11 games. The Reds splashed out significant amount of money in the summer to add depth to a squad which had to balance the Champions League along with league commitments. Despite signing three defenders, early indications suggest the backline is far from settled and have actually done worse than last season which ultimately cost Liverpool the title. A major area of concern is the right back position where Javier Manquillo has yet to impress while John Flanagan is out injured. Glen Johnson is out of contract next summer and has attracted interest from Serie A sides AS Roma and Napoli. This has led to speculation that Brendan Rodgers will be making a move for one of Barcelona‘s Daniel Alves, Maxi Pereira and Martin Montoya. THT analyses which one of them would suit Liverpool better.
Alves is out of contract at the end of the season and has already told Brazilian press that he is moving to England next season. While the Brazilian isn’t at the peak of his powers anymore, he can contribute a lot going forward. As Barcelona’s defensive problems have mounted many have placed the blame on the offensive wingbacks. Alves leaves a gap forward when he makes his offensive darts forward which has to be covered by one central defender acting as an auxiliary right back plus the defensive midfielder has to drop back in the center of defence. The Barclays Premier League is dominated by dangerous wingers who will relish so much space out wide when Alves is out of position and for this reason Rodgers would be a bit skeptical about this move. Alves does not have the legs to fall back in defence and it is a bit difficult to think that Liverpool will change their tactics to accommodate the Brazilian in mid season. Coupled with the demand of pretty high wages it would be better from Liverpool’s point of view to look for other options.
Montoya has grown up in Barcelona since the age of eight before graduating to the main team in 2011-12 season. Montoya is very comfortable on the ball which will suit Rodgers’ scheme of things perfectly. Like Alves, Montoya has tremendous work rate and although he is not that sharp in the final third he offers much more security defensively. His versatility is another aspect which will no doubt interest Rodgers. He has played as a left back on a number of occasions last season. Although he is not a finished product which is understandable considering the lack of first-team action in Barcelona but by signing the 23-year-old Liverpool will be getting a player who is hungry to prove a point. The former La Rojita international has his best years ahead of him and can finally show his worth stepping out of Alves’ shadow. Rodgers has shown that he prefers to nurture young talents and considering the options reported, Montoya looks the best bet.
Maxi Pereira is a fairly attacking right-back who would be a straight swap for Glen Johnson. He usually presents himself as an outlet on the right flank for both his club and country and he finds himself in dangerous positions in the final third of the opposition box. But more often than not he is let down by his final delivery. Pereira is a bit of a hothead and commits a high number of fouls in dangerous areas for his team. At the age of 30 Pereira would appear to be a stop-gap solution for Liverpool. Pereira is a solid enough defender but is not a major upgrade on Johnson.