Rumored Liverpool Fullback Target Agrees Aston Villa Loan

Mike Hewitt

Liverpool's search for a left-back in the January window had reportedly included Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand, but the 24 year old will instead join Aston Villa for the remainder of the season.

Business between Liverpool and Chelsea in the transfer window has been turbulent over the course of the last few years. It started in earnest with the transfer of Fernando Torres in January of 2011, though Yossi Benayoun had preceded the striker in heading to London. The pair were then joined by Raul Meireles in August of 2011. Liverpool have been on the receiving end more recently, with Daniel Sturridge arriving in January of last year, and Victor Moses following him on a temporary move this past August.

All of which is to say that none of the moves have paid off exactly how both parties would have liked: Torres has failed to come close to the type of form he produced on Merseyside, while Sturridge has proven a revelation--both in terms of attitude and application--since leaving Stamford Bridge. With the Moses loan the latest tender spot in terms of business between the clubs, it's perhaps unsurprising that nothing panned out with the latest rumored switch from London to Liverpool, as Ryan Bertrand today joined Aston Villa on a loan deal that will see out the rest of the season.

Whether or not something would have panned out for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool is anyone's guess, though many are quick to attribute the lack of a deal to the clubs' recent history with each other in the market, as well as the fact that Liverpool are possibly a little too close for comfort to Chelsea in the Premier League table. The latter is an optimistic take, but it would make sense if the former had a part to play. Regardless of the reasons, the club will now have to look elsewhere, and most will hope they do so quickly. Bertrand wasn't necessarily going to be the long-term solution, but could have proven a useful squad member for the spring and potentially beyond. Aly Cissokho's improved form has helped paper over the cracks left by injuries to Jon Flanagan and Jose Enrique, and Bertrand could have at minimum been another serviceable option.

Rodgers has been clear about the work going on behind the scenes, and hopefully that work includes a fullback at some point over the next two transfer windows. As Noel noted on Wednesday, now seems like the time for the club to bring in players that are going to help push for a return to the top four, and hard as it might be to stomach, plans to address one of the longest-standing squad issues could be put on hold if and when Liverpool strengthen in other areas.

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