Liverpool will reportedly chase Hull City left-back Andrew Robertson should they fail in their pursuit of Leicester City youngster Ben Chilwell.
According to the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce, the Reds have been put off by Leicester’s valuation of the 19-year-old. It was reported that Liverpool had a bid of £5 million plus £2 million in add-ons for the defender rejected, with the Premier League champions demanding their £10 million asking price be met.
Pearce said the Foxes' resistance has prompted Liverpool to consider Robertson, who has impressed at Hull since joining in the summer of 2014.
Pearce also said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wants a player to provide competition to Alberto Moreno in the left-back position next season. The Spaniard endured a difficult campaign in 2015-16, with rash decision-making and basic errors costing Liverpool in key matches, most notably the UEFA Europa League final against Sevilla.
As Matt Dickinson of the Times noted earlier in the year, there have been times when Klopp has not hidden his displeasure at Moreno:
Even so, the likes of Chilwell and Robertson likely would only be deputies to the current first choice at Anfield given their inexperience.
Another young left-back has been linked with the Reds in Atletico Mineiro’s Douglas Santos.
According to Globo Esporte (h/t Joe Rimmer of the Liverpool Echo), the Reds are willing to trigger a £7.7 million release clause in the Brazil international’s contract. Arsenal and Barcelona have also been linked with the 22-year-old starlet, per Hoje Em Dia (h/t George Bellshaw of Metro).
As you would expect from a Selecao full-back, Santos loves to raid forward and join in with attacks. Here is a look at some of his best moments for Mineiro:
Chilwell still looks to be the Reds’ first choice to deputise for Moreno, which is understandable. The teenager excelled during a loan spell with Huddersfield Town before returning to Leicester midway through last season. While he didn’t feature in the Premier League for the champions, he impressed in the FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.
It’s clear he has a bright future. Chilwell is composed on the ball and energetic, and he has a maturity that surpasses his tender years.
Robertson is a little further on in his development and showed in his debut term for Hull, in the 2014-15 Premier League season, that he’s good enough to shine in the top division. The Scotland international is an attacking full-back and a player who would surely jump at the chance to join the Reds.
While the names aren’t particularly exciting for a lot of Liverpool fans, Klopp would be addressing a problem area of the squad by drafting a new left-back in. As The Anfield Chat noted, the Reds boss has a history of helping the development of up-and-coming players:
Moreno’s place in the XI must be under serious threat at Liverpool. Klopp has always tried to field teams that are disciplined, focused and defensively sound. The former Sevilla man is a dynamic presence on the left flank and a big threat in the final third, but if the Reds want to challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot, an upgrade is needed.
Signing someone like Chilwell or Robertson would ensure the long term is sorted, but neither is ready to be a regular in the position yet. For that reason, Liverpool need to go out and secure an established full-back to shore up the left side of their back four.