Name: Marcos Rojo
Club: Sporting Lisbon
International Caps: 25
Position: Left Back
Having shipped fifty goals in the Premier League last season, Brendan Rodgers is understandably in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer. Along with Alberto Moreno and Ricardo Rodriguez, Rojo is another name that has consistently been linked with Liverpool over the last month. The 24 year old netted the winner against Nigeria in the final group fixture and is expected to start against Switzerland this afternoon.
The Argentine made the move to Spartak Moscow in 2011 but evidently struggled to settle, moving on to Sporting Lisbon after just one season. However, the left back has thrived in Portugal and as well as impressing Liverpool’s scouts, the 24 year old is reportedly attracting attention from the likes of Barcelona and Juventus.
Predominantly a full back, Rojo has deputised centrally for large portions of this season. The 24 year old was a key component of a defence which only conceded 20 goals in the Primeira Liga. Standing at 6’1″, the Argentine uses his physicality to contest for the ball and unsettle his opponents. In possession, the 24 year old remains composed even in tight situations. Having netted four times in the league last season, the defender also clearly poses an offensive threat from set pieces.
However, although he was deputising in central defence for large periods, the failure to record an assist in the Primeira Liga suggests a potential deficiency in the full back’s offensive play. As ludicrous as it sounds, the Argentine may be deemed somwehat too conservative for a modern full back. In Rodgers’ attack-minded Liverpool side, the manager would expect Rojo to contribute much more in the final third.
If the reports are to be believed, Moreno is Liverpool’s preferred target but the Reds’ are baulking at Sevilla’s £20 million valuation. With Sporting willing to accept a fee around the £10 million mark, Rojo provides a much cheaper versatile alternative to the Spaniard. The Argentine would provide a strong presence in the Liverpool backline but concerns remain as to whether he possesses the required attributes to succeed offensively in Rodgers’ attack-minded formations.