Alvaro Arbeloa: Former Red would be ideal cover for full-backs this season

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With Liverpool lacking depth in full-back positions, Jurgen Klopp could do far worse than bring back former Reds favourite Alvaro Arbeloa.

Slowly but surely, Klopp is building a formidable-looking squad at Anfield, as Liverpool look to mount a serious assault on the 2016/17 Premier League table.

Loris Karius has added competition in goal, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan have bolstered Liverpool’s centre-back options and Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane have brought quality to the midfield and attack.

The one area that continues to be worryingly overlooked is full-back, though, having missed out on left-back target Ben Chilwell this summer.

Alberto Moreno is under huge pressure to perform, following several errors last season, but there is no obvious replacement for the erratic left-back if he fails to go up a gear.

Nathaniel Clyne was the Reds’ most consistent player last season, but if the right-back picks up an injury, 17-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold looks to be second-choice, which doesn’t seem ideal.

Jon Flanagan has joined Burnley on a season-long loan, and Connor Randall is also on the verge of a temporary move elsewhere.

Instead, Klopp has looked to James Milner to add depth in both full-back positions this coming campaign – although he picked up an injury at the weekend and will likely miss the start of the season.

So will Klopp now turn to the transfer market? The boss refused to rule out further signings and a full-back seems the main posititon of need now.

One player who hasn’t been mentioned is Arbeloa, who is still more than capable of doing a job at the top level.

Reliable option

Barcelona, Spain - Wednesday, February 21, 2007: Liverpool's Alvaro Arbeloa and FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round 1st Leg match at the Nou Camp. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Spaniard’s successful period at Real Madrid came to an end this summer, following seven seasons at Santiago Bernabeu.

He won two Champions League crowns and the La Liga title in the Spanish capital, and was first-choice right-back for the vast majority of his time there.

At 33, it’s fair to say the very best days of his career are behind him, but he still has a few years left in him yet.

The world and European champion finds himself without a club as the new season approaches, and Klopp should be tempted to take a punt on him.

While he can no longer be relied upon to be a regular, his vast experience and consistency could be crucial in certain match situations, namely in tight games away from home.

He is also capable of thriving at both left and right-back, with versatility something that has appealed to Klopp throughout his managerial career.

The 33-year-old would cost nothing, and a return to Liverpool would surely be too good to turn down at this point in his career.

Arbeloa would also bring with him a winning mentality that often came to the fore during his two-and-a-half years on Merseyside, when he consistently performed well.

The Spaniard could be exactly what Klavan is seen as at centre-back – a safe pair of hands who will do a job, when required.

Additions needed

SANTA CLARA, USA - Saturday, July 30, 2016: Liverpool's Alberto Moreno in action against AC Milan during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day ten of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Levi's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It would be a huge surprise if Klopp failed to add options at full-back between now and deadline day on August 31.

Milner has been used as an auxiliary left-back during the summer, but is not a solution there, while an injury to Clyne would be disastrous.

Is Arbeloa the perfect man to come in and add some much-needed depth? No. But he wouldn’t let Liverpool down in the slightest.

He remains a good footballer who does the solid, unspectacular things better than most, and his experience at the top level would benefit a young squad.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has been linked with taking his former player with him to Newcastle, but Arbeloa is still far too good for the Championship.

An out-an-out left-back is needed, while signing another right-back would also be wise, but bringing in Arbeloa as well would be a shrewd piece of business and provide needed cover on both sides.

It would go some way towards being the final piece in the Liverpool manager’s jigsaw.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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