By Coral Barry
Liverpool are in the market for some real competition for Alberto Moreno and reports have suggested they have made an offer for Lorient’s left-back Raphael Guerreiro.
As the Anfield faithful raise in unison for one epic fist pump at the prospect of Moreno being replaced, we urge caution.
The 22-year-old is more like Moreno than most Liverpool supporters would like.
He’s a speedy full-back that has an eye for goal, but often lacks a rear view mirror and here Football Insider picks out five things every Liverpool fan will need to know about the left-back.
1. He is Moreno mark II
Nothing brings two players together than a shared outlook on the game. In Moreno’s and Guerreiro’s case: they love a sprint forward.
Moreno’s frailities were brutally exposed in the worst of scenarios in the Europa League final defeat to Seville as the Spaniard was continually caught up field and found drastically lacking in any kind of common sense.
It was a performance to forget, but one that will presumably live long in the memory for supporters and Jurgen Klopp.
Guerreiro may not be the answer to Klopp’s prayers. The Lorient youngster continually flirts with the idea of being a winger or a full-back. He began life as an attacker, but was moved into the full-back possession by former club Caen.
He’s played as much on the wing as at the back for Lorient this season. Perhaps, Klopp is on the look-out for a winger?
2. Klopp could mould him
Although Guerreiro is prone to the occasional wander, his history suggests he has the tenacity and technical skills to learn from Klopp.
He was mentored as an attack-minded full-back in Patrice Garande’s Caen side, before becoming the latest in the line of noticeable defenders to be mentored by Christoph Gourcuff at Lorient.
Gourcuff helped Laurent Koscielny transform into Arsenal material and has helped Guerreiro transition from Ligue 2 to the top flight since 2013.
Guerreiro’s split time between operating at the top and bottom of the wings, suggests that if Klopp could get his hands on the youngster he could guide the eager to learn Guerreiro into a decent defender. Or winger.
3. He’s a Portugal international that doesn’t speak Portuguese
Hailing from France, but the son of a fervent Benfica supporter, Guerreiro opted to accept the call-up to the Portugal international team in 2014.
In just his second appearance for Portugal he popped up to grab an injury-time winner against Argentina with a superb diving header.
Not bad for a kid that was due to turn 21 four days later. One slight hitch, Guerreiro hardly spoke a word of Portuguese at the time. At least Liverpool know he is adaptable.
4. Big clubs have come sniffing past and present
One thing is for sure, Guerreiro has bags of potential and the world’s biggest clubs know it.
After a blistering 2014-15 campaign where he scored seven goals and provided five assists, serial youth gobblers Paris Saint-Germain came a knocking.
Now Borussia Dortmund have entered the fray, believing they have what it takes to turn Guerreiro into the next Bayern Munich star.
Guerreiro is in high demand and at the right price, mooted to be in the region of £10million, he could be the right fit for a Klopp side that needs players willing to learn.
5. He thrives on the big stage
As already mentioned, his beginnings with the Portugal side went quite well and it’s not the first time Guerreiro has risen to the important occasions.
He was part of a wonderful Portugal Under-21 side that were runners-up at last summer’s European Championships and was an integral part of a back four that conceded just one goal on the way to the entire tournament.
Guerreiro is now in the Portugal squad that will fly to his homeland to compete in the Euros and given the chance to perform on that stage, may just bring the best out of him.
In other Liverpool news, the Reds’ new arrival has a special message for fans.