Liverpool have reportedly had a bid of £8 million turned down for Swansea City left-back Ben Davies, as per The Telegraph's Chris Bascombe.
The 21-year-old Welshman appears to have become the preferred choice to fill the perennial problem area at Anfield after talks with Sevilla over a deal for Alberto Moreno collapsed, according to The Liverpool Echo's Neil Jones.
Moreno, Davies and Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand are the three names seemingly on Brendan Rodgers' shortlist for left-back and it's Davies who now looks to top the list with this new bid.
The Daily Mail claim Swansea want £12 million for Davies, even then the fee would be significantly less than the reported £20 million Sevilla want for Moreno.
The left-back position is one which Rodgers identified as needing to strengthen last summer, eventually ending with the loan signing of Aly Cissokho.
Rodgers described the need for "cover in the left-back position" while on tour in Australia last summer, as per the official LFC website. After a season without a recognised first-choice left-back, the Northern Irishman will be keen to sign a long-term solution to the problem rather than simply cover.
Cissokho's struggles have been well documented, while Jose Enrique missing for most of the campaign due to injury wasn't helpful either. Alas, Jon Flanagan's form was the saving grace for Liverpool and Rodgers, as unexpected as that would have seemed 12 months ago.
Flanagan though is not a left-back by trade, although being able to play on both sides of defence does give him Philipp Lahm-esque similarities!
Some Liverpool supporters would prefer to see Flanagan compete with the rather disappointing Glen Johnson on the right of defence, Flanagan's more natural position too.
With Andre Wisdom reportedly close to a loan move to West Brom, as per The Telegraph, that would leave Johnson and Flanagan for right-back.
In an interview with The Telegraph back in 2013, Rodgers outlined his desired squad to have two players for each position, "then below that having young players who can support that."
So with Flanagan and Johnson on the right, that would leave only Enrique on the left. Clearly, the need for a left-back is quite urgent at Anfield.
Davies vs. Moreno
While Moreno may be the more appealing signing, Davies represents a solid purchase for Liverpool.
Indeed, while Moreno may seem to be the more attacking option of the two, the stats actually tell a different story. Using Squawka's comparison matrix for the 2013/14 season, Davies actually created more chances (31 vs. 19), had more assists (admittedly only 1 vs. 0) and had a higher pass completion percentage (84 percent vs. 79 percent).
Moreno actually impresses more defensively; with more interceptions (73 vs. 63) and a higher aerial duel-won percentage (48 percent vs. 39 percent). Davies won more tackles, but also lost more tackles too—perhaps showing the difference between La Liga and the Premier League.
With the two players at a similar age, it's more about who could potentially become the more rounded footballer.
It's a rare occasion where the British option may actually be the better value for money.
Comparing players within different teams and different systems is clearly not an exact science. Swansea were a side that struggled for large parts of 2013/14 and thus Davies' defensive work was much more than it would be at Anfield.
The similarities between Davies and Flanagan are quite apt, both offering reliable, solid options on either side of defence.
With Liverpool's attacking style demanding much of their full-backs, it seems prudent to have hard-working players fill the two roles—because, unfortunately you can't just clone Dirk Kuyt to play left- and right-back.
Davies has the potential to become a very reliable player, one who can finally solve the problem left-back area at Anfield.
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