Liverpool may have found good cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold as ‘firm offer’ made to Barcelona
One area that has often given Liverpool headaches in recent seasons has been the right-back position – especially when Trent Alexander-Arnold was not available.
JÃ¼rgen Klopp has at his disposal players capable of playing in position, but to what extent poses a worrying question mark.
James Milner has often been asked to cover in Alexander-Arnold’s absence, but as Phil Foden exposed at Anfield earlier this season, the 35-year-old’s legs are no longer able to handle players from such a caliber. At 36 next week, it can’t be considered a long-term option.
Academy graduates Neco Williams and Conor Bradley have also held the post in Alexander-Arnold’s absence, but it’s clear they’re not quite ready to make the leap to appear regularly in the rankings just yet. first team of the club. Both can benefit from high-level experience elsewhere.
Liverpool have seen what signing a competent replacement can do at full-back on their left flank, with the arrival of Kostas Tsimikas in the summer of 2020 breathing new life into Klopp’s side. The Greece international has covered Andrew Robertson with distinction since joining the club, especially this season – he’s been so successful that he has even sometimes claimed the replacement of Robertson in the starting XI.
While Trent Alexander-Arnold doesn’t tend to miss a lot of games during the season, the Liverpool squad would be in much healthier form if they also had Tsimikas’ equal coverage at the back right.
According to recent reports, the club may be actively looking for exactly that in the January transfer window.
Ecuadorian Bola Vip recently reported that Liverpool are considering 23-year-old Ecuadorian international Byron Castillo as a potential target to support Alexander-Arnold.
Ecuadorian journalist Ronald Vinces went further, saying the full-back had a “firm” offer from a Premier League club.
Whether the offer comes from Liverpool remains to be seen, Leicester City are also said to be interested. But Castillo is an ideal profile in terms of FSG transfer.
His club Barcelona SC are in financial disarray and are said to be willing to part ways with him for a paltry sum of just Â£ 4.5million. This presents a relatively low risk from Liverpool’s perspective, especially for a player who is highly regarded not only in his home country but across the entire South American continent, having drawn attention during the Copa Libertadores.
Efficient, versatile and robust offensive full-back, Castillo has scored three goals and recorded four assists in 27 league games during the 2021 season, with a respectable average of 0.27 goal contributions for 90.
When it comes to his offensive end product, he definitely ticks the mark to suggest he could be adequate cover for Alexander-Arnold.
Castillo’s final ball exit is also encouraging. He’s averaged 3.39 crosses for 90 this season – not too far from Alexander-Arnold’s 4.7 for 90 average, according to Wyscout.
He is also comfortable in possession and adept in one-on-one situations thanks to his explosive pace. He’s made 2.56 progressive points for 90 and six dribbles for 90 with a 49.6 percent success rate this season. Alexander-Arnold averages 1.49 progressive runs for 90 and 1.79 dribbles with a success rate of 47.2%.
Defensively, Castillo has the pace of recovery to suit Klopp’s gegenpress system, averaging 5.96 recovery runs per 90: not too far from Alexander-Arnold’s 7.47. He also reads the game well, making 3.35 interceptions per 90, and wins an impressive 63.7% of his 8.19 defensive games per game.
Creatively, Castillo is also a standout performer in his current league, ranking fourth among best right-backs for âsmart passesâ and key passes per 90 combined – averaging 0.83 per 90. C ‘ is far behind Alexander-Arnold’s 2.88-by-90 average. this season, although quite expected given that Castillo is playing for a team that has only averaged 1.3 goals per game this season, as opposed to Liverpool who have averaged 2.77.
Based on his data at first glance, Castillo could be an ideal choice for Liverpool, and the full-back has the potential to fill a role similar to that of Kostas Tsimikas at Anfield.
For such a great price, Liverpool will be hard pressed to find a better deal available on the market.