Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne is subject to a lot of interest off late with Barcelona joining the likes of Manchester City in the race to potentially sign the right-back in January.
Barcelona have been feverishly linked with a number of right-backs across Europe ever since Dani Alves departed the club in the summer transfer window. Having failed to entice Hector Bellerin to return to the Camp Nou, the Blaugrana were left with the likes of Aleix Vidal and Sergi Roberto to take up the full-back role. The duo, especially Vidal, have been a significant downgrade on the talismanic Brazilian and has further fueled Barcelona’s desire to dig deeper into the market.
The latest full-back to be linked with the Blaugrana is Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne. Having weighed up options of signing low-cost players like Juventus’ Stephan Lichtsteiner and Shaktar Donetsk’s Darijo Srna in recent weeks, the Express state that Barcelona are eyeing a move for the Reds’ £35 million-rated defender.
The 25-year-old, since his move from Southampton, has made that right-back spot his own and has consistently delivered week-in and week-out for the Reds. In little over a year, Clyne has already played in a staggering total of 64 games scoring a goal and assisting 7 others while also quietly going about his job of shutting down attacks from his side of the pitch.
The England international’s pace, creativity, crossing and defensive prowess has made the £12.5 million fee Liverpool paid the Saints to acquire his services look like an absolute bargain. It is hence no surprise that big guns like Manchester City and FC Barcelona are eyeing a potential move for Clyne to bolster their defence and full-back positions.
Can Liverpool cannot afford to sell Clyne at this point?
Liverpool haven’t had as good and as consistent a right-back as Nathaniel Clyne since the days of Steve Finnan. Prior to Clyne’s arrival, his spot was occupied by Glen Johnson who, despite a promising start, endured a torrid climax to his Anfield career, often presenting an Alberto Moreno-sized problem at right back. Johnson lacked the speed, energy, creativity and stamina that Clyne has so effortlessly brought to the role and it is one among the many reasons Liverpool absolutely cannot lose the 25-year-old at this point in time.
Moreover, the defender perfectly fits Klopp’s style of football and for a manager who is trying to ingrain his playing philosophy into the players, it is not exactly a matter of money but the right kind of players. Liverpool may extract a handsome figure for the sale of Clyne but that’d leave a gaping hole in the right-back position and would be a step backward as far as the club’s progress is concerned.
The Reds look to be challenging for big things this season having sealed progress through to the EFL Cup quarterfinals along with a joint place at the top of the Premier League table. With that in mind, the last thing Liverpool would want to do is sell a key player to their direct title rivals in Manchester City, or even Barcelona.