Javier Manquillo Transfer Rumours: Latest Speculation on Atletico Madrid Star

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18: Javier Manquillo of Atletico de Madrid controls the ball during the Copa del Rey Round of 32 second leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Sant Andreu at Vivente Calderon Stadium on December 18, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 6

Javier Manquillo's loan from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool was officially announced on Wednesday:


Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 5

Javier Manquillo, who is expected to seal a move to Liverpool in the near future, was "pictured on Twitter arriving on Merseyside on Monday" according to the Daily Mail's Simon Jones, who credits Stuart Cross for the following image:

Jack Wilson of the Daily Star, meanwhile, explains why Manquillo has picked Liverpool over Arsenal as his next destination upon leaving Atletico Madrid:

Manquillo rejected Arsenal after becoming concerned at how much playing time he would get following the arrival of Mathieu Debuchy.

He felt the Frenchman's arrival would leave him sidelined for prolonged periods, according to Spanish newspaper AS.


Original Text

Javier Manquillo has flown into Liverpool for a medical ahead of signing for last season's Premier League runners-up on loan, according to reports.

The Atletico Madrid right-back is finally ready to join Brendan Rodgers' side after weeks of speculation, reported by Chris McKenna of the Daily Star, who writes that Manquillo "will undergo a medical at the club's Melwood training base, ahead of joining on loan for the season."

Graeme Bailey of Sky Sports indicates the defender will arrive as cover and won't waltz straight into Liverpool's first team:

At 20 years old, Manquillo should be ready to challenge Glen Johnson for the right-back spot. The England international was berated for his performance at Crystal Palace last season, which ended the club's title hopes, and will have to prove his worth throughout what will be a challenging 2014-15 season for the Reds.

Beck Diefenbach/Associated Press

Jon Flanagan can also slot into the right-back position, though he is likely to be deployed on either side of defence depending on the players available. This is particularly true if Liverpool fail to sign Alberto Moreno from Sevilla, leaving the left-back slot free while Jose Enrique's fitness remains a concern, per Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail.

Manquillo made three appearances in La Liga last season, racking up a WhoScored.com rating of 7.3. The youngster is confident with the ball at his feet and breaks up play by finding intelligent positions, often reading danger before his team are in trouble. He made 4.7 tackles per appearance, a number slightly influenced by his lack of games but impressive nonetheless.

Rodgers obviously plans to test Manquillo ahead of a projected permanent move.

The starlet will need to work extremely hard if he is to join Liverpool full time, with Rodgers most likely wanting him to continue developing his basic skills. Last season's pass accuracy of 72.6 percent needs to be sharpened up, as does the player's attacking output in general. He completed just a single cross in three appearances during Atletico's title-winning campaign, meaning there's obvious room for improvement. 

Despite this, Manquillo is a smart temporary investment by Liverpool. He will arrive in excellent shape and ready to battle with the prospect of earning himself a full-time career on Merseyside. Rodgers isn't taking any risks with an immediate committal and has the opportunity to pull out of a permanent move if Manquillo doesn't show himself to be up to the task.

The Spaniard will become Liverpool's seventh signing of the summer following the arrivals of Rickie Lambert, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Ahead of the deal, Rodgers admitted he is looking to further build his squad. "We still have a few bits and pieces we would like to do to solidify the group, but there's no names or definite signings yet," the boss said, via Sky Sports.

Manquillo offers something different in a squad that must compete across four competitions next season without the irreplaceable talents of Luis Suarez, who is readying himself for a stint at Barcelona. While the defender will rarely help out on the goal front, he could play an important role in ensuring Liverpool better the 50 goals they conceded during last season's run to second place in the Premier League.

Unlike fellow Spaniard Moreno, who will be ready for the first team upon arrival, Manquillo faces a challenging year of establishing himself. Liverpool fans may be treated to a glimpse of the future if he can impress, but they won't be stuck with an unneeded signing if the loan doesn't work out.