Name: Ricardo Rodriguez
Club: VFL Wolfsburg
International Caps: 23
Position: Left Back
With their pursuit of Sevilla full back Alberto Moreno encountering some difficulties, reports last week have linked Liverpool with a fresh approach for Ricardo Rodriguez. The 21 year old has shone in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg this season and the Swiss defender opened the World Cup with 2 assists in the opening victory over Ecuador. Despite the Swiss humiliation at the hands of the French, Rodriguez is expected to retain his spot in tonight’s decisive fixture with Honduras.
Seemingly an anomaly in modern football, the 21 year old somehow manages to simultaneously offer defensive solidity as well as a potent attacking threat. Rodriguez racked up an impressive 5 goals and 9 assists in the Bundesliga this season, form which has inevitably attracted attention from all around Europe. For the statisticians amongst you, only Max Kruse and Marco Reus created more chances in Germany’s top flight than the left back this term.
But in winning 61% of his total duels in the Bundesliga, including a notable 57% of his tackles, Rodriguez’s offensive capabilities surprisingly do not make the 21 year old a defensive liability. Confident in possession, the Swiss full back likes to use his pace to beat the marker and whip in dangerous deliveries.
However, as to be expected from an individual so inexperienced, Rodriguez has on occasion been guilty of costly lapses in concentration. If Liverpool were to sign the Swiss starlet, there would inevitably be some “teething problems” in his adjustment to the Premier League and the 21 year old would most certainly require time to adapt.
Although Brendan Rodgers will be frustrated by the hiccups in the Moreno deal, the delays may prove to be a blessing in disguise. Reportedly available for a modest £12 million in comparison to Sevilla’s demands of £20 million for their Spaniard, Liverpool could potentially make an inspired signing at the same time as saving money for further reinforcements.
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