Editorial

Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool…why is it so hard to find a reliable left back?

photo credit: Assemblea.cat Protagonistes 11-06-2017 via photopin (license)

Napoli’s Faouzi Ghoulam is the latest left back linked with the Premier League’s elite.

He won’t be the last before the season’s out.

For some reason, top-class left backs have become painstakingly difficult to procure, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all in the market for a new one.

The Red Devils have used three men in the position this term, none of whom can be described as left backs, while £30m specialist Luke Shaw rots in no man’s land.

City appeared to have solved their left-back problem by signing the world’s most expensive defender, £52m star Benjamin Mendy, from Monaco over the summer.

However, Mendy might not play again this season after an ACL knee injury, forcing Pep Guardiola to devise a January Plan B.

Liverpool’s problems seem to be deeper rooted, with gaffer Jurgen Klopp currently sticking by Alberto Moreno despite the Spaniard’s complete lack of defensive acumen.

You could almost hear Koppite hearts breaking during their 2016 Europa League final defeat to Sevilla, when then-boss Unai Emery – the manager who packed Moreno off to Merseyside for £12m two years earlier – ruthlessly targeted his former charge.

Klopp sanctioned the £8m capture of Scotland international Andrew Robertson during the summer, but the 23-year-old has featured just twice in seven Premier League matches since.

The German looks likely to chug on with Moreno, Robertson and James Milner sharing the role this term, hardly a title-winning recipe.

Manchester’s deadly duo, currently sitting joint-top of the table on 19 points apiece, appear somewhat more proactive, with City thought to be targeting a too-cheap-to-be-true £3m transfer for Ghoulam.

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The Algeria international’s contract runs out next summer, but Liverpool and Chelsea – among others – are also expected to make bids, pushing the price up.

United have once again been linked with Tottenham’s Danny Rose, the Doncaster native who – on the eve of the current campaign – voiced his desire to move back up north soon.

Such a switch could leave Spurs gaffer Mauricio Pochettino with his own left-back problem.

It never ends…

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