Snapped up for £6.8 million on a long-term contract Saturday, the 20-year-old Cadiz-born forward joins both Kolo Toure and fellow Liga player Iago Aspas, via the BBC, as part of Brendan Rodgers’ Reds rebuilding process ahead of what is sure to be a pivotal season for the Northern Irishman in 2013-14.
By the sounds of it, the young Spaniard will not be the last new face seen at Melwood between now and the closing of the transfer window on Aug. 31. However, he could yet prove to be the smartest piece of business done by the club during the close season.
"He has the correct footballing profile and mentality to be a Liverpool player. I look forward to working with him to develop his talent and he joins a group of young exciting players at our club."
The Reds have been scouting the Spain Under-21 international since last October in order to better gauge his “profile” and “mentality,” and clearly, Alberto has ticked all the right boxes in the intervening time in order to convince Rodgers and Co. to commit a reasonably hefty sum on a player with only a handful of Liga appearances to his name.
At that time, the forward was spending a season-long loan with the Barcelona B team in the Spanish Segunda Division after his parent club had shipped him out to Miniestadi in order to better prepare Alberto for future life in La Liga with the Sevilla first team.
But the youngster responded, putting behind him a series of prior contract disputes and a lack of regular game time with the Andalusians to shine in attack in Catalonia alongside fellow forward Gerard Deulofeu. He registered a highly impressive 11 goals to make him second top scorer and an even more eye-catching 18 assists in his 38 league outings along the way.
It should be absolutely no reflection whatsoever on the player’s abilities that Barca decided not to take up their option to sign Alberto on a permanent contract this summer when one takes into account the world stars that would have been ahead of him in the queue at Camp Nou, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro, to name just a few.
Unlike at Anfield, where the versatile forward is sure to be given plenty of first-team opportunities by Rodgers with which to show the watching world his true attacking capabilities, and the Reds may get the benefit from taking on board a player who is not only understandably ecstatic to be joining Liverpool, but who also may be about to take out his recent frustrations at not being given a fair crack of the whip at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on opposing teams in the Premier League.
"I feel very excited, I've never felt so excited before but I'm very happy,” was Alberto’s reaction after his move to Anfield had been finalised over the weekend.
I think I am the happiest man on earth. I have come here to enjoy moments with the supporters – and I know the supporters will help me to never walk alone. I hope that between us all we can make this club one of the greatest in the world, once again.
So from a personal point of view, Liverpool are getting a player who appears both hungry to prove himself and highly motivated to succeed at the highest level, while from a technical view point, the Reds are signing a multifunctional attacking player whose move to Merseyside could prove to be just the catalyst needed to take his game up a further notch.
Alberto is a right-footed forward who can operate in a number of different positions up front, whether that be as a lone front man, dropping off as a “false nine,” in either of the wide areas to the left or right of a striker(s) or even as an attacking midfield player.
Meanwhile, his main strengths are his powerful shooting—especially with his right—his ability to read the game and time his runs through the lines into the opposition box, both facets which were clearly demonstrated by his impressive attacking numbers while with Barcelona B last season.
In fact, the only real question mark hanging over Alberto, other than those which invariably accompany any foreign player’s arrival in the alien environs of the Premier League that is, are surrounding his slender physical traits at present.
But that can be easily rectified by spending some quality time in the gym this summer in order to beef Alberto up so as to be able to give the player the best possible chance to display his full range of technical abilities for all to see going forward.
Then, Liverpool fans will be hoping that Alberto proves to be more from the Luis Garcia school of Spanish recruits to Anfield than either of the club’s two previous arrivals from Sevilla, Antonio Barragan and Daniel Ayala.