Well, well, well… most Reds fans thought that Christian Benteke’s arrival would bring down the curtain on what has been an extremely active summer on Merseyside in terms of additions, but now reports claim that one more signing may be on his way.
The name in question is Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas Digne, who was once heralded as one of the finest emerging left-backs in Europe, but has struggled for game time in star-studded squad at the Parc des Princes.
Despite this he has picked up two Ligue 1 titles and performed in European action, making him an appealing option for Rodgers as he strives to build a side capable of making it into the top four.
With ‘talks’ underway, there’s every chance the young Frenchman will be at Anfield by the start of September, and here are FIVE reasons the deal makes sense for the club…
Although Moreno only arrived last summer, there are already serious doubts about the young Spaniard. Errors and wayward positioning through 2014/15 cost the Reds in crunch games, albeit he did show his attacking abilities with surging runs forward and goals – the below efforts against Spurs was undoubtedly his highlight.
Although Digne is 22, one year Moreno’s junior, he looks likely to be an upgrade on the ex-Sevilla man, with the France international known to be a little more solid defensively – as the stats show – averaging more blocks, interceptions and clearances-per-game while committing fewer fouls and errors.
With additions such as Benteke, James Milner, Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino and Adam Bogdan, Liverpool are, arguably, stronger up front, in midfield and in goal than they were last season.
In terms of centre-backs, Dejan Lovren has shown some signs of improvement over the pre-season period and if Mamadou Sakho can be kept fit Rodgers will have a pretty strong set to pick from alongside Martin Skrtel.
Nathaniel Clyne boosts the right-back options, too, but at left-back Moreno has very little in the way of cover and is, arguably, not of the standard required for a top four push. Digne would add depth and quality to the position completing a fine summer.
Whether making eight major addition after last summer’s major overhaul is the most intelligent way to go about things at Anfield is open to debate, but there’s no doubt that spending of getting on for £200m over the last three transfer windows shows that the Reds are indeed looking to push on.
Okay, much of the spend has been funded by the sales of their two best players in Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling, but the club still have talent in abundance and have shown real intent in beating competition to snap up Milner, Ings and Firmino.
The addition of Digne would further illustrate that the Merseysiders really are aiming for the top four, and should perhaps be a source of worry for Manchester United and Arsenal, who still have much work to do in the transfer market.
With the sheer numbers Rodgers has available to him, he can realistically pick two unique XIs for the Premier League and Europa League, which is a real positive due to the gruelling fixtures and the travel involved.
Although Thursday to Sunday is no different to Wednesday to Saturday in terms of scheduling, the continent’s second competition’s alteration to fixtures is widely criticised and held up as an ‘excuse’ for sloppy performances.
With Digne in, Rodgers will be able to rotate his left-back options, thus keeping his side fresh for domestic and European games.
Above all else, Digne is a truly talented player. The promise he showed as a teenager at Lille convinced PSG to snap him up two years ago, and he showed initial signs of progress in his debut campaign.
However, his Ligue 1 minutes suffered in 2014/15 as the more experienced Maxwell was drafted in, with Laurent Blanc clearly focused on accumulating points after a relatively poor start to the season – Lyon led the way for much of the opening phase.
Digne is a pacey left-back who is able to swing in good crosses and boasts the technical ability to slot into Rodgers’ favoured brand of fluid football.