Liverpool must be wishing the calendar never flipped over to 2017, with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds having been pretty rubbish since then.
New Year’s Eve saw their last major win – a 1-0 home victory over Manchester City – and since then the Merseysiders have drawn at Sunderland, been forced into and FA Cup replay against lowly Plymouth, been eliminated from the EFL Cup by Southampton and lost at home to relegation-threatened Swansea. It’s not just the results that have been poor, with the swashbuckling showings that took Liverpool up the table a distant memory and players now looking lethargic.
There are problems all over the pitch, and one area that will be of concern to Klopp is left-back. James Milner has been by no means the villain of the piece in recent weeks, but the converted midfielder is not quite playing to the level he was when he moved into the position with aplomb, with wingers working out how to get at him and highlight his weaknesses. A genuine left-sided defender, then, must be a priority for Klopp, and the Daily Mail are reporting that Real Betis’ Riza Durmisi has been scouted.
A £17m release clause opens up the slim possibility of a deal before the looming transfer deadline, but in all likelihood a summer swoop is more viable should the Reds move at all, with the Denmark international having only joined the La Liga club last summer from Brondby.
As Durmisi’s stats from this season show, he’s been pretty solid since arriving in Spain, playing twelve games for the green and white-clad team and putting in 18 clearances, 15 interceptions and 13 tackles. Going forward he’s averaged one chance created per-game with twelve, while making eight take-ons.
Liverpool’s last left-back from La Liga was Alberto Moreno, so there may be some scepticism surrounding the Betis man, but he does look like a quite tempting option.