Liverpool’s rapidly depleting full-back resources has reportedly prompted the Reds to pursue the signing of Lyon’s Jordy Gaspar, but they will face competition for his signature from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.
Per Dipesh Agarwal of Sport Witness, Jon Flanagan is reportedly in talks to move on loan to Burnley, and with the recent departure of Brad Smith to Bournemouth, that could leave Liverpool with only Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno and 19-year-old Joe Gomez to employ at full-back.
As a result, the Merseyside outfit are eyeing Gaspar, 19, who has yet to sign a professional contract with Lyon and has also drawn interest from Bayer, per L’Equipe (via Agarwal).
The youngster has yet to make a senior competitive appearance for Lyon but has the versatility to provide decent cover for Liverpool at right-back and left-back, per French football writer Andrew Gibney:
Can play RB and LB, but never played for 1st team. Linked with #LFC https://t.co/MREQsJQbyn
— Andrew Gibney (@Gibney_A) July 28, 2016
It would be a big gamble for manager Jurgen Klopp to add Gaspar to his squad without also signing a more experienced full-back to provide cover.
While Clyne is consistently excellent on the right, there is still the danger that he could pick up an injury, while Moreno is something of a liability defensively on the left.
Indeed, Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe recently suggested Klopp may utilise a 3-5-2 formation next season to make the most of Moreno’s attacking prowess while leaving Mamadou Sakho to do the defensive work:
As noted by Tighe, Liverpool were previously heavily linked with Cologne left-back Jonas Hector, 26, but little progress has been made in signing him, and the Germany international has also been reported as a target for Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur, per Sport (h/t Football Espana via Eurosport).
Given his experience and recent excellent showing at Euro 2016, Hector is exactly the kind of signing Liverpool need to take the pressure and responsibility off Moreno in the left-back role.
The signing of Gaspar, on the other hand, would not solve the issue, as Moreno, 24, would remain the senior left-back and No. 1 choice.
While Gaspar may be an excellent signing for the future, Liverpool must look to add further to their full-back ranks even if they do sign the Frenchman as their defensive shortcomings will still remain.