Out of all of the summer signings I think Jose Enrique has certainly been the most consistent performer this season. Stewart Downing probably runs him close but Enrique has probably been slightly better than the English international, as he hasn’t faded in games or been swapped to a position where he has been less effective.
Before he arrived from Newcastle I did have a few reservations about the 25 year old. Not as an attacking left back, where he has demonstrated during his time with the Magpies that he can be very dangerous, especially with his overlapping forward runs and his dribbling ability, but his defensive deficiencies.
Although Enrique is blessed with a great deal of pace, there were times in a Newcastle shirt where he would either be caught out of position, or gave away a ball in a dangerous area. So far for Liverpool though, his defensive attributes have been equally noticeable as his attacking ability.
While defending he uses his electric pace very well to retrieve possession and is rarely caught out in behind. He is also not rash going into tackles and ensures the back four keep a consistent line. Although the Reds have only kept 1 clean sheet in 8 matches, I don’t think any fault can be placed at Enrique’s door and I think he has learned an incredible amount since arriving from Villarreal a few years ago. One of the most important aspects it seems is his mental attitude; his desire to keep on improving as a player. Enrique said in an interview with Liverpoolfc.tv:
“To get the fans with you, you have to play well. At the moment I think I’ve done well but I can do better. I have to improve of course. Sometimes I think about my mistakes and I want to kick myself. I’m like every person – I know when I’ve done good things and I know when I’ve done bad things. In football it’s the same. I always think about my mistakes.”
This will surely hold him in good stead for the future. In addition to his hard work and improving defensive capabilities, he is as threatening as ever in the final third and his partnership with Stewart Downing down the Reds’ left hand side is a massive thorn in the side for opposition defences. Both direct runners who commit defenders, they have also begun to link up play with each other very well with both looking to play the other in on goal.
Enrique also showed he has the ability to give Andy Carroll many assists this season too and against Wolves he provided Carroll with an excellent cross which the Geordie headed against the post. For £5.5million, the Spanish left back is looking like a bargain at the moment, and if he keeps up his good form, he will surely be Spain’s first choice left back as well as Liverpool ’s in the not too distant future.
Article courtesy of David Tully from Live4Liverpool
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