One of the positions it seems Liverpool are constantly trying to upgrade this summer without much success is at left back, as they turn their attention to Lorenzo Melgarejo of Benfica.
There were talks of Lucas Digne (who eventually signed with PSG), Aly Cissokho from Valencia and others, but it seems that Rodgers has decided to focus on Melgarejo, who is signed by Benfica until 2018 and has a release clause of €30 million.
Portuguese clubs usually don’t do discounts, especially not on starting players who are only 23 years-old (will celebrate his birthday in early August). Rodgers is hoping to secure Melgarejo on a loan for next season, with an option of purchasing him for a reasonable price at the end of the year.
Melgarejo has only one appearance for the Paraguayan national team, and was actually a midfielder until Jorge Jesus converted him into a left back last season, which worked out quite well for everyone involved, even if Benfica’s season ended in the most tragic of ways in both the league and the Europa League final.
He played for Benfica 21 times (league) last season, scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists. If he’ll arrive, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be a starter. Liverpool and Rodgers are pleased with Jose Enrique, but last season Liverpool were forced to use Glen Johnson at left back to cover for the injured Enrique.
But there is some future thought processing going on, with Melgarejo being much better than Enrique in the passing game. Rodgers envisions a lineup of 11 players who can all move the ball forward with only one touch needed in the passing game between them, and is slowly weeding out those who don’t fit the standard. While Enrique is very good on a defensive scale, his attacking ability is often a bit painful to watch when something complicated is asked of him to perform.