Ashley Cole and Left-Back Options for Liverpool This Summer
David Woods writes in The Daily Star that manager Brendan Rodgers "is a big fan of the left-back Cole, who he knows from his time at Chelsea" and claims that "Cole is understood to be interested in the move to Anfield."
The 33-year-old would be a surprise signing, and his age brings with it both positives and negatives. It means he certainly wouldn't be a long-term solution, nor would he seemingly be capable of playing every game domestically and in Europe.
But Cole would bring with him vast experience, especially when it comes to winning major trophies, something that could benefit Liverpool's youthful squad.
It's possible that Rodgers may be looking at Cole as an addition to the squad, rather than as a first-choice player, looking to sign a younger left-back this summer too. Alternatively, much of these reports linking Cole to Anfield could be fed through the player's agent as he seeks a final big money move.
Either way, as discussed, Cole is not the long-term solution, so here are some other options that Liverpool could realistically target this summer.
Alberto Moreno (Sevilla)
The 21-year-old is one of Spain's brightest talents. With quality left-backs in short supply around Europe, he wouldn't come cheap—Maddock speculates around £15 million. According to Maddock, "Brendan Rodgers has targeted a left back in the summer, after deciding not to turn Aly Cissokho's loan deal into a permanent move, and he believes the 21-year-old fits the Anfield profile perfectly."
He certainly appears to fit the profile, as per this analysis by Squawka, he'd be an upgrade on Jose Enrique, who has missed the most part of this campaign with what appears to be a serious knee injury. They conclude that:
His talent is undeniable, and if Liverpool are indeed confident about his prospects both short-term and in the future, a move for Moreno looks a worthy endeavor that could provide the Reds with what they require in his natural role.
Guilherme Siqueira (Granada)
Brazilian born left-back Guilherme Siqueira was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool last summer from La Liga side Granada.
However, the 27-year-old ended up being loaned to Portuguese side Benfica instead, where he has been a regular performer, scoring twice and grabbing two assists, according to Transfermarkt.
Would Liverpool return for the player again this summer?
Having loaned centre-back Tiago Ilori to Granda in January, relations between the two clubs appears to be strong.
Ben Davies (Swansea)
Another option for Brendan Rodgers is to return to his old club, Swansea City, for Welsh youngster Ben Davies.
The 20-year-old certainly fits the profile of player Liverpool and their owners are targeting.
A regular for the Swans, Davies has two goals to his name this season and offers natural width on their left side. He's created an impressive 28 chances in 26 appearances for Swansea, according to Squawka.
Luke Shaw (Southampton)
And then there's the dream signing—Southampton's 18-year-old left-back, Luke Shaw.
A player who, according to his current boss, is the possibly the best left-back in the world already—as per The Daily Star.
"[He could play for Real] Madrid or any team in the world," praised Mauricio Pochettino.
Paul Collins of The Mail on Sunday wrote recently that "Liverpool will compete against Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea in the race to sign Southampton and England golden boy Luke Shaw this summer."
English, young and talented. Shaw would provide the solution to Liverpool's perennial problem area for years to come.