Versatile Portuguese better off heading to Liverpool than Barca
Portuguese defender/midfielder Raphael Guerreiro is back in the gossip columns after being linked with a move to Liverpool during the January transfer window, but the Reds could face stiff competition from all sides in their attempts to land the 22-year-old.
According to The Mirror, Barcelona are leading the chase for the French-born Seleccao star, with fellow European giants Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain also keen on capturing Guerreiro’s signature this summer.
Significantly, the red top also states that Barca are looking to bring in the Lorient regular as understudy for left-back Jordi Alba, with current number two in the position Adriano expected to head for Serie A during pre-season.
At this stage of his development, considering Guerreiro has made over 100 league appearances for Caen and Lorient in his fledgling career, surely taking on Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno for a first-team place would be preferable to competing with Spanish number one Alba.
The 27-year-old has 43 La Roja caps to Moreno’s three, despite making his debut just two years prior to the Liverpool regular, and isn’t likely to be hounded out of the Camp Nou any time soon after helping secure the Copa del Rey with a goal in the 2-0 defeat of Sevilla.
Furthermore, Moreno’s place at Anfield has come under intense scrutiny following an abject performance against his old club Sevilla in the Europa League final, with the 23-year-old considered most at fault for Jurgen Klopp’s collapse from 1-0 up to 3-1 losers.
The only other relatively-senior left-back currently available to Klopp is Jon Flanagan, who has made just five Premier League appearances over the past two seasons due to injuries, while currently-crocked Joe Gomez is more of a centre-half than an out-and-out wide player.
Guerreiro’s versatility would likely be a bonus, as Klopp’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation requires full-backs to operate in space on the wing left by wide-forwards. As an occasional left-midfielder, the role should be second nature to him.
Of course, Guerreiro may feel he can wrest the Blaugrana first-team shirt from Alba, but a move to the Spanish giants surely carries more benchwarming risk than answering the call from Merseyside.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.