Three-way tug of war for left back slot

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Emiliano Insua is back from International duty, and the Brazilian is now likely to be thrown back into a three way fight for the coveted left back position against the young Argentinian, and the Italian, Andrea Dossena, as Rafa Benitez looks to step up competition for places throughout the squad.

Fabio Aurelio’s recent impressive performance in midfield is likely to be no more than a hearty one-off performance.

Benitez was delighted but in no way surprised with the way Aurelio played when asked to perform unfamiliar central midfield duties in Liverpool’s last game ‘“ but he says the Brazilian will only be asked to reprise that role again in emergency situations.

‘œThe way Fabio performed at Portsmouth was not a surprise to anyone at the club because he is one of our most technically gifted players,’ said Benitez.

‘œFabio is a good professional and he is very consistent so if you ask him to do a job for the team he will do it.

‘œBut I do not see him playing as a midfielder too much because we already have Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Lucas who can play in that position.’

Benitez’s options for the defensive berth have been boosted by Insua’s return from international duty and the Reds boss has challenged the 19-year-old to quickly rediscover the form which made him a fixture in the Reds back four, before his call up for the FIFA under-20 World Cup with Argentina.

He added: ‘œEmiliano was doing a good job for us before he went away so we are happy to have him back.

‘œBut now he must fight for his place again because the more good players you have competing for different positions the better it is for the team.’

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