Liverpool hopes that its latest summer signing, French defender Aly Cissokho, can have an immediate impact at Anfield in 2013 and develop a role with the Reds as they take aim at one of the top four spots in the Premier League and a shot at Champions League football next season.
According to Liverpool's official website, the club has confirmed the signing of Cissokho on a season-long loan from Valencia.
A 25-year-old left-back, Cissokho provides the Reds with added depth on the back line, which is something Brendan Rodgers' squad could certainly use after conceding 43 goals in league play a season ago.
According to The Mirror's David Anderson, Rodgers is hopeful that Cissokho can challenge current starter Jose Enrique at left-back. If all goes well, Liverpool fans could see the Frenchman back for another season in 2014, as Rodgers can make him a permanent acquisition for £4 million next summer.
It's definitely not difficult to see what Rodgers likes about Cissokho. A stout defender with ideal size, he's quick—often beating opposing attackers to the ball—athletic and possesses solid instincts at the back.
In addition to displaying poise on the ball, he's a strong passer and dribbler when it comes to generating the attack. Cissokho also boasts the stamina to go the distance. Rodgers won't have to worry about him wearing down over the course of 90-plus minutes and using a second-half substitute on him.
Offensively, Cissokho isn't going to threaten all that often. He's only scored four goals in over 200 club appearances, scoring just twice in 36 matches with Valencia in 2012.
However, Rodgers didn't bring him to England to score goals. So long as he is making the most of his appearances in the lineup, assisting to relieve the pressure on goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and helping push Enrique and the rest of the club's defenders in training, he'll turn out to be a worthwhile investment.
Cissokho isn't going to be the reason Liverpool turns things around this season, but he has the potential to make a noteworthy impact. His experience playing for prominent European clubs like Porto, Lyon and Valencia makes him an intriguing addition for a club looking to rise through the ranks of the Premier League in 2013-14.
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