Alberto Moreno: Player Profile

Moreno To Shore Up Liverpool’s Defence

Personal information 
Full name: Alberto Moreno Perez
Date of birth: 5 July 1992
Age: 22
Place of birth: Seville, Spain
Height: 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position: Left back

Club information 
Current team: Liverpool
Number: 18

Youth career 

Senior career 
2012–2014 Sevilla 61 Appearances, 3 goals
2014– Liverpool 0 Appearances, 0 goals

National team
2013– Spain U21 9 Appearances, 0 goals

2013– Spain 3 Appearances, 0 goals

Spanish full-back Alberto Moreno capped a rapid ascent to the heights of European football and strengthened Brendan Rodgers' options in defence by becoming Liverpool's eighth signing of the summer in August 2014. 

The 22-year-old arrived at Anfield following months of speculation linking him with the Reds and the apparent interest was little surprise given the remarkable progress the left-sided defender had achieved during the previous 18 months. 

Subject to his transfer, Moreno said: "Liverpool are the best club in England and I couldn't waste an opportunity to come and play for them." The defender, who becomes Liverpool's eighth signing this summer, was not registered in time to play in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Southampton.

Moreno said he spoke to fellow Spaniards and former Liverpool players Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa before making his decision. He said: "They all told me I can grow a lot here as a footballer as this is a massive club. I hope to give my best and do all I can to help." 

Moreno came through the ranks at Sevilla, playing 44 games last season as the club won the Europa League. He was withdrawn from the team for last Tuesday's 2-0 UEFA Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid and said a tearful goodbye to the Sevilla supporters, staff and team-mates after the final whistle in Cardiff. 

The Spain international, who has three caps, will now vie with compatriot Jose Enrique at Anfield to become manager Brendan Rodgers's first choice left-back. 

After some heavy expenditure on the likes of Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana, the reported £12 million fee for Spain international full-back Moreno is nothing short of a steal. 

The Merseysiders also signed Belgium striker Divock Origi from Lille for £10m, but have allowed the 19-year-old to return to the Ligue 1 side on loan for a season.

Money aside, the move for Moreno is a fantastic bit of business by the club that helps solve what has been a big problem area for the side in recent seasons—full-back. 

In Moreno, Liverpool have spent relatively big, but they are paying for a young player who has already forced his way to the verge of the Spanish national team, winning three caps so far, and has won the Europa League. 

Moreno displays many great attributes vital in a modern attacking defender—and he still has a much higher ceiling for improvement. 

There is more to come than Moreno has already shown, but even his accomplishments to date can compete favourably against that which the Reds have dealt with in the same position over the past few seasons. 

Key among Moreno's traits is his great pace and athleticism. He is a committed defender, though perhaps jumps into tackles a little too rashly at present, and those who point to him being out of position at times are merely acknowledging his former team were happy to see him attack at will. 

Moreno is calm and cool in possession and uses the ball neatly but is always willing to race beyond the opposition back line on the overlap, providing a through-ball chance toward the penalty area from where he will look to provide a cutback or a shot on goal. 

He completed more than one successful dribble per game for Sevilla in La Liga, more than any of the Reds' left-backs last term, and scored three goals—Jon Flanagan was the only one of the Reds' full-backs to score in league play in 2013-14.

Moreno can improve at both ends of the field, but his pace will get him out of some defensive situations initially, and he'll certainly fit the tactical approach of the team. This is a purchase for the future, sure, but it's also one that improves the team immeasurably and immediately.

It's not just the left of defence that has caused Liverpool problems. Glen Johnson's indifferent fitness and similar form leaves a lot to be desired on the right, where the Reds have lacked competition or senior options since Alvaro Arbeloa departed. 

A succession of centre-backs have operated on that side without success. With Moreno, at least, supporters can be assured that at last, one side of the defence will finally have the quality and capacity for improvement that it deserves. 

The signing of Alberto Moreno is a clear indication that the Reds are looking to improve the entire defensive structure, both now and for the future.

Moreno was born in Seville on July 5, 1992 and took the fledgling steps of his professional football career with Sevilla, a club renowned for providing regular opportunities to young players and allowing natural talent to flourish in La Liga. 

Boasting laudable athleticism and blessed with blistering acceleration over short and long distances, Alberto thrives on scampering forward along the flank to support attacks with crosses or dangerous shots of his own in opposition territory. 

His maiden appearance for the Sevilla first team occurred as a late substitute during a 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao in April 2012, though he would have to wait almost a year to genuinely break through at senior level. 

A first start for the Andalusian outfit followed 10 months on, with Moreno clocking up the full 90 minutes in a win over Deportivo La Coruna. 

It was the start of his rise and a total of 15 games were tallied before the 2012-13 campaign concluded. The full-back's international experience was enhanced in the summer of 2013, playing four matches - including the final against Fabio Borini's Italy - as Spain cantered to the European U21 Championship title in Israel. 

If that season was one of progression, the next surpassed his most hopeful ambitions as he cemented a permanent berth in the Sevilla starting line-up and contributed to an impressive fifth-place finish in the Spanish top flight and European glory, after beating Benfica in penalties.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque had taken note and Alberto was named in his country's provisional squad for the World Cup in Brazil, although he was later cut from the final selection before a dismal campaign for the reigning champions. 

He therefore remained on three senior international caps, having made his debut at that level by playing the entirety of a qualifier against Georgia in October 2013 that was won 2-0. 

Another man who had been tracking Moreno's progression was Rodgers, who finally captured the left-back shortly ahead of the 2014-15 season kicking off, adding another highly talented player to develop in his burgeoning Liverpool squad.