Jamie Carragher believes it is only a matter of time before out-of-favour left-back Alberto Moreno is sold.
The Spaniard has dropped down the defensive pecking order under Jurgen Klopp this season, and despite being the Reds’ only recognised left-back, has played just 103 minutes of football so far.
Instead, Klopp has opted to mould vice-captain James Milner, a natural midfielder, into the role.
Milner has started each of Liverpool’s last five games at left-back, only missing out on the opening-day victory away to Arsenal due to an ankle injury.
The 30-year-old has progressed well in the role, and speaking to talkSPORT this week, Carragher suggested that while this is not a long-term measure, it spells the end for Moreno.
“He obviously rates him higher than Moreno,” Carragher said of Milner.
“If you’re a left-back and the manager is playing a right midfielder ahead of you it probably tells you time is up at the club.
“So I would imagine in January or the end of the season a left-back will come in.
“Milner would become back up and it wouldn’t be too bad then. I must say he’s done very well but at this stage of his career it is not easy.
“I don’t think it could last for a full season and I am sure Klopp and his team are scouting for a left-back—because you can see he has no time for Moreno.”
Carragher has long questioned Moreno’s position in the Liverpool squad, and was particularly vocal in his criticism during May’s Europa League final defeat to Sevilla.
While Klopp has staunchly backed the 24-year-old despite calls for his departure, saying after a shaky display against Arsenal that “football is a game you cannot play without making mistakes,” his team selections suggest otherwise.
Continuing to discuss his left-back options in August, Klopp revealed that he had not moved to reinforce the position in the transfer market as he couldn’t find the “perfect fit.”
“If we had found the perfect fit with all the things around—it is not about money only; playing style, defending skills, offensive skills, technical things—I think you would know because we would have made a transfer,” he explained.
If Klopp and his backroom staff were looking for an alternative to Moreno in the summer window, they clearly didn’t find an ideal option.
Cologne’s Jonas Hector was regularly linked with the Reds, while a bid for Leicester City teenager Ben Chilwell was rejected, with both players eventually signing new contracts.
PSV Eindhoven’s Jetro Willems, Hull City‘s Andrew Robertson and Aston Villa‘s Jordan Amavi were also touted as possible options.
It seems none are Klopp’s “perfect fit,” but despite this, Carragher feels Moreno will be on his way soon enough.
It will be interesting to see if Moreno is given an opportunity in the League Cup against Derby County on Tuesday.