Luis Alberto’s Anfield return – Can he play a role in Jurgen Klopp’s revolution?


Impressing on loan at Deportivo de La Coruna this season, Ben Twelves assesses whether Luis Alberto can return to a playing role in Jurgen Klopp’s team.

OSLO, NORWAY - Wednesday, August 7, 2013: Liverpool's Luis Alberto celebrates scoring the third goal against Valerenga during a preseason friendly match at the Ullevaal Stadion. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Loaned out for a second successive season without even a sniff of first-team consideration, Luis Alberto’s Anfield career seemed all but over.

But an impressive campaign at Deportivo La Coruna has raised questions over whether it really is the end for the £7 million signing on Merseyside.

As the Spaniard is linked with a move to make his Estadio Raizor spell permanent, there is a growing feeling that he still yet has a role to play.

So, is time up for Alberto’s Liverpool career over, or can he return to a play a part next season?


Deportivo de La Coruna Impact

Enduring a season of frustration at Malaga last year, it’s been anything but for Alberto this season at Deportivo.

A feeling of wanting to make up for lost time has emanated from the determined 23-year-old, and he has done exactly that in a strong period under Victor Sanchez, described as a “breath of fresh air” by Depor expert Chris Moar in December.

Alberto signalled his intent to ensure of more productive loan this time, taking no time to announce himself by posting a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win against Rayo Vallecano on his first start for the club.

Hitting the ground running, he has maintained that momentum, becoming a key part of Sanchez’s side at the Raizor – where he has won admirers with his technical skill and weekly contributions, showcasing his talent with the most consistency in his senior career to date.

Impressive form has come from the left, right and even as the central, creative hub of Depor’s three-man attacking midfield unit – a role that shows the trust Sanchez has in the No. 23 to carry the creative responsibility for his team.

Working in support of main striker, Lucas Perez – who Alberto has developed a lethal partnership with – he has reached an impressive tally of six goals and six assists in all competitions, the last strike a brilliant solo effort to help Depor end a 13-game winless run against Levante.

Citing Sanchez as a key factor behind his decision to move, reuniting with the former Sevilla assistant manager has certainly been productive, shown with the Depor manager now wanting to make Alberto’s stay permanent.

And a good move it has proved for Deportivo’s fortunes, as hey sit comfortably in 10th currently, with Alberto a key figure in that push for mid-table stability – and the Reds now have a talented, confident player to welcome back.


Potential Liverpool Role

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2014: Liverpool's Luis Alberto in action against Oldham Athletic during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alberto will be looking to force his way into Klopp’s densely populated attacking-midfield ranks, hoping his versatility, technical play and creativity proves enough to catch the Liverpool boss’ attention.

Labelled a “consistent contributor” by Moar, his ability to spot and execute through passes, play a quick one-or-two-touch game and interchange with team-mates could make him at home in Klopp’s slick attacking style.

Clever with his link-up play, combined with his happiness to operate across the width of the pitch, he could provide a handy and adaptable foil in any of the roles in Klopp’s preferred attacking-midfield trio.

But reservations over the Spaniard come with his questionable suitability to Klopp’s defend-from-the-front, aggressive pressing style.

Alberto is not the most athletic or pacy player and his defensive contribution is one of the weaker aspects of his game – something that he may be able to compromise in Sanchez’s compact setup, but would prove detrimental in Liverpool’s energetic system.

There is no place in Klopp’s team for one feature without the other, and Alberto’s debatable defensive work rate could prove his downfall in attempting to secure a permanent place in Klopp’s attacking department.

At 23-years-old, there is time ahead for Klopp to work with and improve the ex-Sevilla midfielder, but whether it is enough for him to feature at Anfield remains to be seen.


Can Alberto Feature for the Reds?

With a summer of much activity expected, and current options at Klopp’s disposal, it is hard to see where Alberto fits in as a permanent member of the squad.

The Spaniard would certainly not feature ahead of Philippe Coutinho or Roberto Firmino of the current first-choice attackers, while Mario Gotze’s increasingly realistic transfer to Merseyside will see him command a starting berth.

With the possibility of a wide option also to arrive, likely relegating Adam Lallana to rightful squad status, and the return of fellow loanee Lazar Markovic added to talented hopefuls like Jordon Ibe and Sheyi Ojo, places in Klopp’s attacking sector are scarce.

There would likely be no place for Alberto if Liverpool missed out on European football – but he could feature if Europa League was secured, with Klopp needing a bigger, quality squad to compete across four competitions.

Alberto is undoubtedly a talented player and certainly deserves a chance to prove his suitability for the long term in a make-or-break pre-season campaign.

Thereafter, he is likely to find his future again lies away from Anfield – but on a permanent basis this time.


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    • I just mentioned him too, didn’t see your comment. I like the fella from the few games I’ve watched.
      Have you seen that fantastic young keeper at Villareal? Awesome young keeper and even better surname Areola.

      • Honestly, I went teats up when I heard that name. The English press will surely milk that for all its worth if he ever plays in the Prem.

        Now imagine if he was also BRAzilian! The press will have a field day!

          • Unless he’s Amazonian!

            FYI, Amazonians are single

            Thankfully Wonder Woman is normal. PHEW!

      • Good season keeper, on loan from PSG, i don’t think he would get much playing time after this season with Trapp in goal, he would have another loan, we should wait how does he performes in that season to see if he’s actually good as this season is claiming to be

  1. I would like to see Alberto getting his chance to impress Klopp in pre-season, but I am not optimistic he will be able to compete with the options already ahead of him, let alone when the spending is over.
    Ings could also take the lone striker role, with studge playing on the right of a 3 behind him. Also Origi could play on the left of the 3….so as things stand Alberto will be competing with Couts, Firmino, Studge, Ings, Origi and Lallana. Good luck Alberto…you’re gonna need it son!

    • We already have far too many mediocre players who will not make the grade. We paid £6.8mm for him. Selling him for the same amount back would be good business and we’ll be done with another of the Aspas, Alberto, Illori, Borini, Assaidi, Yesil, clusterduck signings.

      • You are missing my point. I just feel after buying him he deserves the start of the pre-season to either show Klopp he has a future or should be sold. No player should be sold without the manager seeing what they can (and can’t do) 1st hand.
        I agree he will probably be sold, and getting our money back will be good business.

  2. “likely relegating Adam Lallana to rightful squad status” seems a bit harsh on the bloke who has been one of those that has grown most under Klopp. Yes, he hasn’t scored many goals but has taken to the Klopp’s pressing style well.

      • I am just pointing out that Lallana has adopted the system well. If we get Gotze, then it will be Klopp’s issue to resolve.
        I am not going to play Football Manager 2016

        • You’re right. Championship Manager 3 was much more fun. Forget Gotze, we need Sigporsson and Kabba Samura!

        • Can’t see Lallana going anywhere. Too many players in front of him and closer to the door…again IF I am wrong and he does move on, at least his improved performances will mean a decent fee.

          • If Gotze comes in, then I can’t see lallana staying. He has had enough chances over the last few seasons and only recently has he actually performed to an effective standard. I also think luis alberto will leave as he will not be good enough if we want top 4 consistently.

          • I disagree no player has adapted to Klopps system better than Lallana, and the pressing he does is invaluable to Klopp. Other players more likely to leave (Teixeira, Ibe, Alberto, Allen). IF Gotze arrives I see a front trio of Studge, Gotze (false 9) and Firmino, with Couts ((number 10), Can and Grujic behind them.
            Lallana, Markovic (if he remains), Origi, Ings & Hendo being the subs and players most commonly used in 1st team rotation

          • Lallana has adapted very well with klopps arrival, so I would agree that he would be a very useful and valuable rotation player. However with the competition in that area, if Gotze was to come in, he may not get enough game time for his liking, therefore he may decide to leave at his own will.
            I don’t think klopp will sell Ibe as I think he sees him as a player with great potential who can adapt well to his playing style.

          • I would be shocked if Ibe has any kind of future at LFC. I would expect him to go out on loan like Wisdom did…yet to never return. Simply not good enough for LFC.

          • He shows potential in occasional games, but he’s not consistent enough. If he can perform consistently and break into the first team again, then he can be a quality player. You have to remember that he’s only 20!

          • he can be a total beast actually. if he mentally matures. which i think will take some time and loan is the best option for regular first team football

      • Has to be false nine position for me. On the right is an option, but we will see the best from him as a false nine.
        A front line of Studge Gotze Firmino
        With Couts (number 10 role) alongside Can and Grujic, behind that trio.
        Lallana, Origi & Ings being bench and rotation options.

        • How can you play a false nine if we have a recognised striker on the pitch?and grujic to start?no way!!we either need a new midfielder or start Henderson

          • Because Studge is comfortable cutting in off the right thats why.
            I would pick Grujic (if he hits the ground running) over Hendo everyday of the week…would prefer a Pjanic though :)

          • Grujic isn’t that special m,just saying. So you’re saying we should play sturridge on the wings?

  3. I think Alberto is a real talent but better suited for la liga.
    His teammate Lucas Perez though could do a job on the right wing for us.

      • yes, Gotze would be an automatic starter, however he has injury issues, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have a capable player like Lucas Perez who scores and assists to call upon

        • ”however he has injury issues” Like, Stu, Lallana, Origi, Hendo, Milner, Firmino, Coutinho, most of our team is injury prone but that doesn’t mean we should by someone like LP when we already have Ojo and Ibe and Kent

          • Ibe could do with a loan spell in the premier league at a team like Watford,southampton even Stoke city. the others are still raw and up and coming. It wouldn’t hurt the team to have a reliable winger while all our young up and coming wingers with potential earn their stripes in well thought loan moves.

  4. Fsg’s way of thinking :we don’t need to buy gotze,we have a player with better ‘stats’ for the season on loan. Cheap and affective… NOT!!

  5. Stevie could play much more of a role in the squad compared to Alberto (no disrespect to him) but it’s just not going to happen. Very unfortunate circumstances but that’s how it is sometimes.

  6. was alberto really that bad for lfc ,he played a fair few games and never really looked out of place
    then was made a scapegoat after one game a lot like manquillo,i wonder if he had have gotten 4 years in a different league and countless chances would he have done more than allen to earn a new contract

    • Scapegoated by whom? He was never even given good enough of a chance to be scapegoated in the first place. Poor lad never got a chance, but that’s par for course with Rodgers as manager really. Assaidi, Borini to a lesser extent, Alberto, Aspas.

        • The issue is not whether they’re good enough or not…the issue is why they were brought in to the club in the first place if they were never going to play at all.

          And mate, in comparison with Balotelli, I’d say Borini and Aspas were much better options…but maybe that’s just me.

          • They were bought in because our manager was a numpty. I am purely talking Borini here, but the lad was never a footballer to start with

      • ha but he was given a chance he was often one of the first subs used ,and given minutes then after one game he never got another second for the club

    • The Yarmolenko saga is doing my head in. Every transfer window us, Spurs and Everton are linked with the lad. Will it happen, who knows? but it needs to be soon.

      • I know.Ideally we need to snap him up before the Euros start as I reckon he’ll light up the tournament and give the likes of Poland and Germany a hard time.

  7. Unfortunate, because he is a talented lad, but he’s just not a fit. “The Chin,” as he will be forever referred to by me, is a victim of poor timing. I wish him nothing but the best as he will probably have a very good career in La Liga. Pace and defensive ability are paramount, as a failure to defend from the front as a cohesive unit exposes the rest of the team to counters and easy goals.

    However, the video game nerd in me is using The Chin in my 2018 season of FIFA 16 in my LFC dynasty, and he is rated 85…LOLZ. If only FIFA was reality…

  8. I’ll never understand why we spent so much money on this lad and then didn’t even give him a chance. Aspas, Alberto, Assaidi all 3 have good reason to feel a little cheated by the club. In the future, if any player of similar profile genuinely wants to play rather than to just get a better contract and relax, they would probably be thinking 2-3 times before going for LFC.

    • On the plus side, there’s Origi and Can showing the other side.

      Assaidi was never good enough and Aspas was unlucky with the good run of Suarez/Sturridge/Sterling and Coutinho. Alberto is an odd one, he never looked out of place for me.

      • It’s a joke dude…if you’re going to sign a senior player, then you’ve gotta give him some time. If he’s not good enough then he never should have been picked to come to the club in the first place. Rafa bought a lot of mediocre talent over the years as well for very little money…but atleast he’d use them more often that we have ours.

        Aspas, Borini, Assaidi, Alberto all have not had enough of a chance IMO. I understand that season was amazing but why were we so quick to loan him out and get an even bigger disappointment of a player in Balotelli? We got Lambert for plan B…really? 7.7mil is not a small amount of money man….you don’t just give up on a player in the first season alone as a club. Like you said he didn’t even get that many chances.

        As for Borini, talk about being stabbed in the back. I know we’ve had this discussion before but I’ll repeat nonetheless. Where is the sense of loyalty here? Rodgers brought him on for a sizable amount, dude got injured for a while after playing for the first 3-4 months and then gets loaned off to Sunderland to try out another player who will get burnt the season after in Aspas. The least we could have done is continue with Borini and see how it goes for one more season before making a decision on him. Fact is he never got a chance after that initial 3-4 month period.

        Alberto and Assaidi situations are beyond jokes…I wonder if they’ve even played 500 minutes of football for LFC between the two of them.

        • Assaidi was a bit of a last call. He had a season with some great moments before and was available for very cheap. He just wasn’t that good. Never was. It was a very cheap gamble (one we made money on eventually).

          Borini got 27 outings and maybe did well on 3 or 4 occassions. I think he has had his chances but didn’t take them. I do agree it was a bit of an odd one.

          Lambo was bought as a plan B for the SaS attack. To come on and play more possession to see a game out. After Suarez left he turned out to be not much use as there was no plan B with Sturridge cracked and the Balo disaster. Bit unfair to Lambo but that was one that made sense.

          Aspas didn’t really cut it anywhere did he? Just not good enough. 8M for a striker is cheap so it was a cheap gamble.

          Alberto, again, I never understood. He always looked decent. He and Assaidi played 564 minutes btw ;)

          • Borini got to play about 600 minutes of football in total – both in his first season and his last for Liverpool. That to me is not a whole lot.

            Lambo was bought post SaS..after Suarez left.

            And what do you mean Aspas didn’t cut it anywhere? The point I’m trying to make is he wasn’t given a chance at LFC. I don’t blame the manager for not playing him that season, since the gulf in quality was too high between him and SAS. My point is why give up on him so quickly!? Why did we move from Borini and Assaidi to Aspas to Lambert and Balotelli? 5 short term signings with no real thought put in to the transfer who all ended up playing limited minutes for the team.

            The thing is you can justify all of these as cheap gambles, and not costing the club any money, but what about the opportunity cost here? Between Borini, Aspas and Lambert we went through 3 players who were ultimately not good enough…so why did we take this kind of ridiculous short term approach to football when it’s clear there’s no long term benefits to it either? We essentially wasted 3 years on these signings that we could have instead spent on a youth signing who could grow within the ranks as an understudy instead and have grown and developed out here.

            Fiscal responsibility is definitely something that’s not too high on Bredan’s list it has to be said.

          • Lambo signed on june 2nd, 2014. Suarez left july 11th. It made sense at the time and had we got Sanchez (the biggest dropped ball ever) it still would’ve made sense.

            We lost 1,5 season to bad calls mostly as 2013/14 wasn’t a lost cause. The forward line of 2014/15 had to bed in but never worked. Then we moved into 2015/16 with a complete new forward line (Firmino, Benteke, Ings, Origi and Milner) that had to bed in for a few months. Now it does and we look a lot better. Going into 2016/17 we can add a few and still have a team that knows how to play football together.

            I’m not saying we made the right calls a lot. But Borini was a very young talent and so was Alberto. So we took a few risks on those and I got them. I’ve got more problems with the Aspas transfer as going into 2013/14 we needed to have a Suarez replacement ready. Aspas was never going to be that. Iago was ok for low flying Celta, poor for us, poor for Sevilla who only took him on because they could sell him with a profit. Poorest call of all the names. Except for Balo of course, but allright.

            The thing about the gambles is that you only do it when you also brought in one that’s less of a gamble. Let’s say it’s ok to spend 8 on Ings because Firmino or Benteke will come good so he’s in the shade.

            Borini and Allen were the main signings and that’s where it went wrong a bit. Had we got both Coutinho and Sturridge at the start of that season Allen wouldn’t have gotten so much flak, covered by Coutinho and Sturridge.

          • I’m not saying all signings work out…ofcourse they don’t. I’m saying some signings are just pointless from the get-go. You make that point about Aspas for example. I’m asking you were you really expecting anything different from him? If we buy a b-grade mid-table La Liga player then we shouldn’t expect him to give a-grade performances at LFC from the start. It’s like the difference between expectations and reality are completely different and we just move on to the next target with a zero sense of after-thought.

            Tell me something, if you rate Aspas so poorly, then why did we replace Borini with him? Why not continue to keep Borini in the side instead and let him continue with the training techniques? I didn’t think too highly of Allen either in his first season but atleast I saw some sense of consistency there from Rodgers. He bought his player and is using him regularly in the team.

            I have to say, I look at Borini, Alberto, Assaidi and none of them have really surprised me to be honest in terms of expectations from them. My question is if the expectations from those players were the same from the club then why did they purchase them in the first place?

          • Oh we can agree on the fact that some signings are pointless. Aspas reallly made zero sense, at all. And I don’t know why we replaced Borini with Aspas. I really don’t. But, in all fairness, we don’t see the trainingsessions and what not. Could be that some put in a lot less work.

            Alberto came in as a youngster, I thought that was okay. The others were too big a gamble.

  9. If him and Illori are set to leave than i hope we we are going to get Gotze and Hummels that are already proven players and not players like Zielinski and Niklas Sule because we already have the same playrs in Illori and Alberto

    • No deal for Hummels he is one of the most wanted CBs. That deal is not going down. As for Gotze it all depends if the lad is a modern day footballer vor not. If he is then we are behind at least 4 teams to sign him.

      • it doesnt matter who the player is I just dont want to se Illori and Alberto leave and in their place to come players that are same as them unproven players with a big talent

  10. i sometimes think there is too much loaning of players…. if it doesnt work out they should just move on. In this case id say it all depends whether Alberto would feel happy coming back to a club that hasnt really treated him that well so far, and whether or not he can re-capture his mojo under Klopp like he obviously has in spain. I doubt he’ll be back in red anytime soon.

  11. Lad never had a chance and was never given one, another mystifying decision by The Bodge. Unfortunately I cannot see him fitting into a Klopp, high intensity set-up. Lets hope we can recoup most of our layout. Wish the lad all the best for the future.

  12. Alberto was perfect for 12/13. But the addition of Sturridge and Coutinho saw our style evolve from death by football possession to blistering counterattack. As a result, Alberto was overlooked for the motivationally-challenged Moses when it came time to kill off a game.

    Like Benteke, a clearly talented player, but his languid style doesn’t have much future in the gegenpress world of Jurgen Klopp.

    • Moses was a winger compared to Alberto who was said to be more of a MF/CAM type player. Moses is a far better fit for English football like that.

  13. We were linked with Kostic for £24m. Alberto has scored and assisted more than him, and is already ours.

    We need wingers so bring back Markovic and Alberto. Probably won’t make the starting XI, but they can be good options if we need them.

  14. Well done to him, he’s finally started to show some of his potential. But he’s far better suited to Spanish football, not the helter skelter operating mode of a Liverpool team under Klopp. Better to just cash in and recoup the initial fee paid for him.

    • Or EPL/English football for that matter. Looks like a very good player technically…always was a good fit for Spanish football.

  15. I’m of the thought that Alberto would have a role here under Klopp,he certainly wasn’t given as much chance as some others under Rodgers and he is a young player. Klopp may well get a lot out of him.

  16. how about
    coutinho gotze firmino
    can zelinski
    hector sakho matip clyne
    subs – milner , lallana , markovic , origi , ings , lovren , gomez , flanno , mingo , grujic
    Most probable squad next season

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