Rob Jones believes that Liverpool could finally have solved their long-standing issues at right-back by signing England international Nathaniel Clyne this summer, reports the Daily Mirror.
Liverpool’s squad as it stands – strengths, weaknesses, recommended new signings and more
Liverpool’s 12 most hyped wonderkids before Bobby Adekanye
Liverpool’s 10 best ever PL signings named in report – Skrtel dubiously included
The Reds used Glen Johnson, Javier Manquillo and Emre Can in the position last season, while the likes of Jordon Ibe and Lazar Markovic were utilised in a more prominent wing-back position when we trialled a 3-4-3 formation.
However, with Johnson gone, Manquillo linked with a move away (via Sky Sports) and Can determined to prove himself as a midfielder rather than a makeshift defender (via the Daily Mail), it was vitally important that we added a new full-back this year.
Brendan Rodgers moved quickly to secure a £12.5m move for Clyne on the opening day of the transfer window (via BBC Sport), and the vast majority of Liverpool fans are now eagerly anticipating the prospect of seeing the 24-year-old turning out for us on the first day of the season.
Jones, who made 185 league appearances for the Reds before being forced into an early retirement due to injury, thinks that Clyne is the perfect fit at Liverpool.
In quotes taken by the Mirror, he said: “Defensively Nathaniel seems superb. His strength is his defensive work. It seems obvious but it’s not always the case with modern full-backs.
“He has little bits going forward too and he seems to have everything. As full-backs go he’s got the full package. Some are good at defending but can’t go forward but from what I’ve seen of Nathaniel, he appears to have everything and I’ve been impressed with the way he times his tackles.”
“We definitely needed to strengthen in that area. Last season Nathaniel looked pretty good and he hardly missed any games. He played 35 matches in the Premier League and didn’t pick up any injuries.
“We need a bit of consistency in the full-back positions. You’d imagine with the signing of Nathaniel that Brendan is looking to go with a back four but he’ll have to see how things go in pre-season.
“Things can change for you as a manager and I’m sure than Nathaniel could cope with playing in a right wing-back role if needed as well as a conventional right-back which is great for the club.”