The Future of the Right Wing Back role at Liverpool

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With March just around the corner it may seem a little early to start thinking about potential summer signings, but with Glen Johnson looking like he’s rejecting a new deal and Javi Manquillo not getting a look in after some good early season form The Reds may be in the market for a right back this summer.

Liverpool have been playing wingers/wing backs as of late, so any potential signing would have to be able to be comfortable playing in either position. It’s very rare that a team playing with wing backs can afford to play two attacking players on their flanks as it can, not always, leave the team a little unbalanced. However, Liverpool have had the perfect balance as of late and the results have showed this. Whether its sustainable is another question so in my opinion a more defensively astute player could be bought and played in that role allowing Moreno to be the attacking threat down the left hand side, with the RWB backing up play.

When looking at potential signings I had a certain set of search parameters in place; they had to have experience playing European football, be of a first team quality already, not overly priced and be at an age in which there was still a lot of potential for them to grow. The following players are those I consider a viable fit for Liverpool FC.

Right Wing Back

  1. Nathaniel Clyne.


Age: 23

Possible Transfer fee: £15million max in my opinion.

I’m aware that he doesn’t have European experience, however he meets all the other requirements. Many will believe he is out of our price range, but with his contract expiring in July 2016 Southampton may have to cash in this summer if he refuses to sign a new deal. The newly capped England International has excelled during his time at Southampton showing to not only be defensively solid but an attribute in the final third too having scored three goals this season. He’s at a good age, has experience of the physicality of the Premier League and can be a left back alternative if required. He is in every way an upgrade on Glen Johnson and looks set to be the England right back for the foreseeable future. He would peak when the rest of the current Liverpool defence peaks.

  1. Gotoku Sakai


Age: 23

Possible Transfer fee: £5million.

The Japanese fullback, like Clyne, can play either full back position which straight away makes him an attractive proposition. In a struggling Stuggart side he has been consistent on a regular basis chipping in offensively with one goal and one assist. He may not be well known but has European experience, is a good age and in my opinion is first team ready for Liverpool. Not only that, but due to the poor Stuggart form were they look like they may be relegated, he could be available for a bargain price in the summer. Another aspect to look at with any deal for Sakai is the potential merchandise sales attributed to such a signing.

  1. Danilo


Age: 23

Possible Transfer fee: £15million max in my opinion

The Brazilian fullback is known by many fans. Tagged as the next big money sale by Porto, he no doubt has many admirers in Europe. A stereotypical Brazilian who loves to get forwards he offers a threat going forward and would look fantastic in this current Liverpool set up given license to attack. Touted as a big money deal, he could be cheaper than many think with his current deal ending in the summer of 2016. Experience in Europe, experience at winning; he seems like an ideal candidate. Four goals and four assists primarily from a RB position shows he can influence the game, he is also an accomplished penalty taker, an asset to have within a side. He should definitely be a player we look at, whether we could convince him to sign is another question.

  1. Daniel Carvajal


Age: 23

Possible Transfer fee: £20million max

The starting right back for Real Madrid won’t be an easy signing to make, but should Madrid sign Danilo if reports are to be believed you’d have to think Carvajal would be open to a move with the European Championships being next summer and he wants to stake a claim to be regular RB for Spain. Very much in the Arbeloa mould, defence first and attack second is his mindset yet he’s managed to grab 4 assists already this season in a star studded Madrid side. His style of play would suit the Liverpool set up, short passes but confident with the ball at his feet. Not only this, he is also very confident in a tackle and is great at anticipating a pass which would help Liverpool’s effectiveness with a high press. He is experienced in Europe having been part of the side that wont ‘La Decima’ he also spent a season with Leverkusen so has experience in leagues other than Spain. Coupled with the fact is he great on the pitch he also has a magnificent beard that any team would be lucky to have in their squad photo.

  1. Mario Fernandes


Age: 24

Possible Transfer fee: £10-13million in my opinion

Probabaly not as well known as the others mentioned, the Brazilian fullback has made himself at home as the RB for CSKA Moscow. He brings experience in Europe, has 5 assists to his name this season already meaning he’s involved in a goal once every 5 games. He is very confident on the ball, as many Brazilians tend to be, when he has possession he tends not to waste it and has an advantage over the other players mentioned. He can play as a Centre Back. Meaning if Liverpool were to change to a back four but wanted the option to change style during the game the transition would be seamless as he could slot in as a RCB and do an effective job there. In a system were Liverpool like to build from the back he could be a surprise to many but could suit Liverpool with his versatility, a trait Brendan Rodgers favours.

These are just a few of the players I think Liverpool should be looking at if Javi Manquillo were to leave this summer, I know the price varies for many but the signings probably depend on what formation Liverpool intend to use next season. Quality RWB’s are hard to come by, if you have any suggestions then feel free to comment below.

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  1. Where do you think Jordan Ibe’s future lies?

    He’s looked quite good in both phases in the RWB role, which is extremely impressive at his age. Look how long it took Baines and Coleman to blossom into complete players for example. A two-way fullback or wingback is harder to come by than attacking midfielder in my view, and having a significant goal and assist threat in those positions is an advantage that’s hard to match.

    On the other hand, Gerrard has described Ibe as “part Sterling, part Sturridge” and so far that description seems pretty apt. By the time Jordan reaches his physical peak he’ll probably posses an even more impressive power/pace package than Daniel, and it isn’t hard to envision him adding excellent hold-up and link-up capabilities to his repertoire. And although his game doesn’t resemble Raheem’s very much in a visual sense, he does produce a lot of similar outcomes — regularly beating opposing fullback to the end-line for a cross or cut-back, or carving inside onto his left foot to threaten more centrally. His shot is far harder and more technical at this stage than that of Raheem, who still defaults to a rather weak, side-footed offering regardless of the situation (and is also poor with his weaker foot).

    Can Ibe grow into a primary goal-scoring role at Liverpool? Even at a young age you see very early signs of the diverse ball-striking skills that made the SAS partnership so lethal last season, case in point his knuckball off the post against Everton. As a cautionary tale you probably could have written an eerily similar sentence about Glen Johnson when he was 19. Lots of players have one or two very specific situations in which they’ll unleash an impressive strike if the ball sits up for them, but given a chance that’s anything less than perfect and they’ll muck it — Ashley Young cutting inside onto his right foot (or Stewart Downing cutting in onto his left) on the outskirts of the box for example. A first team attacker at a club like Liverpool needs to be able to hit the target with aplomb with any technique and from and angle. Last season alone — see Sturridge’s no-look loft over the charging Tim Howard against Everton, Suarez’s 18-yard bullet header of a Cissokho cross against West Brom, or pretty much his entire catalogue of goals against Norwich. Ibe may or may not develop the speed of thought and pure genius for those kinds of goals, but he does appear to have the ball-striking qualities.

    Even if Ibe DOES develop his scoring toolbox, would we be better served to continue slotting him at wingback if he has the defensive chops to handle it, keeping a more advanced position open to stuff even more attacking clout into the side? What do you think?

    • Thanks for the reply.
      Firstly Let me say I think Ibe has a decent shot on him, evidence of that was against Everton. Im of the thought given license to attack which would happen if he was pushed further forward we’d see him scoring 10 a season. I don’t see him as a RWB by any means but he’s being a superb job there.
      In the long run I see him as an inside forward or even as a direct number 10 if Liverpool decide to play on the counter.

  2. I would like to see Ibe play as a RW in a 4-3-3 system or a attacking player in a 4 -2-3-1 I think he would become a much better player and I all so wouldn’t like to think our current system is the only one Rodgers can get this fantastic attacking team to play, but I gu if it’s not broken don’t try fix it,,YNWA

  3. As a Madrid fan, there’s absolutely no chance Carvajal is going anywhere. Club loves him and he’s the future of Spain in that position. Even with the rumors of Danilo, that’s Carva’s spot and no one is really going to displace him.

  4. I reckon if Ibe and Markovic can remain consistent we can rotate between them. Manquillo can come in as well, don’t think he’s a bad player. Next season on we’ll have Flano, Wisdom etc. So many defensive players to choose from. I don’t think this area should be strengthened.

  5. I think we would be daft not to sign Manquillo permanently IMO. Earlier on in the season when he was given his chance he was arguably our best defender and was only dropped due to the formation change.

    If we do insist on getting a new RB I’d like to see us target De Sciglio from Milan.


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