5 Players Who Could Challenge Glen Johnson at Liverpool

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With full-backs something that clearly need to be addressed at Liverpool ahead of the new season, Henry Jackson selects five players who could come in as competition for Glen Johnson at right-back.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 18, 2014: Liverpool's Glen Johnson in action against Aston Villa during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While there has been a lot of attention paid to Liverpool’s left-back problem ahead of next season- it is undeniable that reinforcements need to be made in that area- the right-back situation seems to have gone somewhat under the radar.

Glen Johnson is a player who divides opinion greatly among Reds fans, but even his most devout supporters seem to be losing faith in him now.

The 30-year-old is arguably past his peak, and there are times when he looks a genuine liability to the side. His attacking threat cannot be faulted, in fairness, but defensively he is extremely suspect.

With Jon Flanagan Johnson’s deputy at right-back, it is an area that looks weak, particularly with Champions League looming.

Flanagan enjoyed a superb season last year, and matured greatly, but he is still far from the finished article. Technically he must improve, and there is still a certain naivety in his game. That’s to be expected at 21 though.

The Reds have been linked strongly with Atletico Madrid full-back Javier Manquillo, but at just 20-years-old, is he a realistic challenger to Johnson?

It is not an area of Liverpool’s squad that fills you with confidence, but who could come in to strengthen it? Here are five possible options.

 

MICAH RICHARDS

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 11, 2012: Manchester City's captain Micah Richards in action against Liverpool during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Richards has been a Liverpool target on and off for a while now, and the Daily Mirror report that a loan move to Anfield may be on the cards.

The 26-year-old- it’s easy to forget he’s younger than Adam Lallana because of how long he’s been around- has struggled for first-team action at Manchester City, such is the brilliance of Pablo Zabaleta, and a move would surely give him a new lease of life.

Richard is more solid defensively than Johnson, and although he doesn’t look the most aesthetically pleasing player when going forward, his pace and power can be mighty effective.

 

SERGE AURIER

Last month the Daily Star reported that Brendan Rodgers was interested in bringing Aurier to Anfield.

The 21-year-old Toulouse and Ivory Coast star is a potent attacking full-back, but one who is also strong in the tackle and solid defensively.

Arsenal‘s purchase of Mathieu Debuchy has put them out of the reckoning, but Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with acquiring his services. He is certainly an option Liverpool should look at, and is at an age where he will only get better.

 

DEANDRE YEDLIN

Yedlin was a relative unknown a month or so ago, but his fantastic performance for USA in their World Cup clash with Belgium, having come on for the equally impressive Fabian Johnson, saw a number of top clubs sit up and take notice.

The 20-year-old was reportedly the lowest paid player at the World Cup, but his blistering pace, strength and consistency at right-back impressed many.

There can be no doubting that Yedlin would be a risky signing- there have been many players who have starred at World Cups then failed to replicate that form down the years- but he’d also be a relatively cheap, potentially exciting capture.

 

NATHANIEL CLYNE

Since being linked with a move to Anfield by the Daily Star back in May, interest appears to have cooled in Clyne.

The 23-year-old Southampton man has been a terrific servant to the Saints since joining from Crystal Palace two years ago, and he was one of many impressive English stars at the club.

He is young enough to improve still, and is a player who could definitely challenge Johnson and Flanagan for a place in the starting XI.

Whether Southampton are willing to sell yet another of their players to the Reds seems unlikely, however.

 

MAURICIO ISLA

Isla was touted to be on Liverpool’s radar in June, with the Daily Star claiming both them and Arsenal were interested in the 26-year-old.

Isla was part of an excellent Chile team at the World Cup, and his ability to play in a number of roles is something that would clearly appeal to Rodgers.

The Juventus man appears happy at the Serie A champions for now, but he continues to play second fiddle to Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back which could prove an issue for him.

His all-round quality would be a great addition to Liverpool.

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