Alberto Moreno has to be one of the most divisive Liverpool player for years, with the Reds’ fan base often completely split with their opinion of him.
The young Spaniard arrived at Anfield from Sevilla with much promise and many thought he could solve the left back position that, quite frankly, has been a problem ever since John Arne Riise left Liverpool for Roma back in 2008.
However, after some indifferent displays in Klopp’s first season in charge, namely against his former club in the Europa League final, saw him lose his place in the team to James Milner. His time in the team and the squad looked to be over.
Yet Klopp has shown faith in Moreno, who has come back into the fold this season and seems to be an improved version of himself.
It was noted that he was a consistent hard worker, always putting in the hard yards on the training ground and obviously heeding Klopp’s advice. He has shown increased maturity since his return to the team, with a more disciplined approach to his role at left back.
His rampant runs forward and pace overlaps are still at the front and centre of his game, but he appears to be taking much more care when making these and is getting back into position more often than not, not leaving his defence as wide open as in previous appearances.
His most recent performance against his old team Sevilla in the 2-2 Champions League group stage draw at Anfield was a clear sign of how far he has progressed. He was resolute in defence and an outlet and a threat going forward.
Right now, Alberto Moreno is easily one of the best fullbacks in the world, what a difference his career is this season from last season
— Luke Peach 🇸🇪🇬🇧 (@lukepeach999) October 19, 2017
He looks to finally be unlocking the next stage of his potential and he looks like he is ready to push on into the next phase of his development.
At the age of 25, Moreno is just entering the prime years of his career, his peak of physicality. It appears that his is also mentally maturing, too, meaning that should he be able to make the best of all of these variables, he could set himself up to become a real tour de force on the left of Liverpool’s back four.
He has all of the elements in his game to really make this a real possibility. And under Klopp, he will receive some of the best coaching in the world – as well as having possibly the best man-manager that there is.
Klopp was clearly impressed with his attitude when all seemed lost for him at Anfield, and his efforts continue to be rewarded with first team football, despite the arrival of Andrew Robertson from Hull this summer.
Robertson, another young and budding left back, has also impressed during his rare outings for the Reds this season, with many calling for him to be given more chances or even displace Moreno in the current starting line up.
But Moreno is doing more than enough to warrant his place in the team at the moment, denying Robertson even getting a sniff.
It could well be that because there was not a true rival for his position in Brendan Rodgers’ defence when he first arrived at Liverpool that Moreno felt comfortable, even if he wasn’t putting in performances that inspired much confidence.
Yet the arrival of Robertson seems too coincidental in terms of timing to see Moreno take some giant steps forward.
— John Arne Riise (@JARiiseOfficial) October 17, 2017
He’s less rash, more solid and currently more consistent than he has ever been during his Liverpool career.
If he can keep this up, its hard to see anything bar a cruel twist of fate and injury blighting his season and development. And with this, he should stay in the time for a long time.
If Moreno can make such an improvement over the course of a single summer, is it not viable to say that he could continue on this upward trajectory over the next years of his career on Merseyside?
We’ve all seen players written off too soon in the Premier League but given time and the correct tutelage, what’s to say Moreno could not come to be the stable, dependable left back that Liverpool are seeking?
Look at De Gea at United. Alonso at Chelsea. The former was written off as a flop while the latter’s previous spell in the Premier League was an uninspiring spell at Bolton. Give time, teaching and patience, they’re arguably some of the most sought after players in their positions in world football.
It would be easy to simply write the lad off and dip back into the transfer market; but is it not time that we showed a little faith in someone who has been so maligned that at times, you have to feel for him.
He is human after all. He’s bound to expect criticism, but the negativity borders on the unacceptable at times from fans.
I think it’s time we rally around Moreno, and other members of the team for that matter, and ensure we give him the best platform to continue his growth.
Moreno has everything there to become a really valuable member of this team, more so than he already is. A lot of people would be made to eat some humble pie if he managed to become a mainstay for many years to come.