Liverpool could throw a spanner in Arsenal’s transfer plans after entering the race to sign Real Betis star Guido Rodriguez.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Liverpool are set to rival Arsenal for the signature of Real Betis’ Argentine international star Guido Rodriguez this summer.
The 27-year-old joined the La Liga side from Mexican side America last year and has since developed into a key part of Manuel Pellegrini’s plans. He made 35 appearances for Betis in the league, scoring one goal as they finished sixth.
Rodriguez’s performances have not gone unnoticed, with several clubs keeping a keen eye on him. While Arsenal have been linked with him for a while, Liverpool have now joined the fray. The Merseysiders require reinforcements in midfield following the exit of Georginio Wijnaldum. With Jordan Henderson’s future unclear, it will come as no surprise if the Reds make a serious approach for Rodriguez in the coming weeks.
A defensive midfielder who can also function as a centre-back, his versatility could be a major draw for potential suitors. A physically dominant player, he should have no issues adjusting to the English game and could be a shrewd signing. While Liverpool could offer him a chance at winning trophies he could garner more game time at the Emirates. Arsenal are currently rebuilding and need a dependable player alongside Thomas Partey to gain a foothold in midfield.
After all, Granit Xhaka can be spectacular on his day but cannot be relied upon regularly. New signing Albert Sambi Lokonga is another option, but the youngster is still developing and may not be ready to get the job done from the word go. An active tackler of the ball who is also excellent in winning back possession, the Argentine international is also competent in the air. One drawback in his game is the lack of ball progression he showed at Betis last season.
Liverpool, however, could benefit greatly and use the Argentine ace with greater effect. On paper, the trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara appears to be the first-choice midfield in Jurgen Klopp’s preferred 4-3-3 system. Bringing in Rodriguez to play alongside Fabinho could give the Reds the right anchor line to unleash Naby Keita. The Guinean has looked excellent in pre-season and could finally break out as the ball-carrying midfielder that the Merseysiders have needed.
With Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez back, the extra security potentially provided by Rodriguez could free up both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson to chase after what they do best-bomb forward and assist. A 4-2-3-1 system is not alien to Klopp, having used it to great effect at Dortmund. Whether securing Rodriguez will be the catalyst for him to incorporate it at Liverpool remains to be seen.
Rodriguez was a regular for Argentina at the Copa America as the South American giants broke their 28-year-old wait for a major international trophy. The midfielder made six starts in the competition and scored the winner against Uruguay in the quarter-finals.It remains to be seen if either Arsenal or Liverpool are willing to take a punt on the player.