Being a fullback in the modern game is an extremely demanding prospect. Doubly so when you're playing at a club that is expected to dominate matches, and against which teams will sit deep and absorb pressure while attempting to hit you on the counter. A modern fullback must display an ability to locate space in the opposition's final third, proficiency at accurate interplay with his attacking team mates, enough flair to go past his opposite number one-on-one, and the capacity to deliver pinpoint crosses.
At the same time, they are expected to be solid defenders, both when closing down ball carriers, positioning themselves according to their centre-backs and midfielders, and marking runners off the ball, and the attacking requirements of the position dictate that they must show good instincts for when to transition from one phase of play to the other. They are also expected to perform this double act all day, covering their flank in both directions.
It is no wonder then, that Alberto Moreno has his detractors. While he certainly shows attacking verve and a willingness to go on the offensive, his lack of end product - currently a goal or assist every 1080 minutes - in spite of all his time spent in the opposition third indicates that his delivery and cool in the final phase of play needs work. On the other end of the pitch, he sometimes positions himself too far away from his centre-back, isolating himself against oncoming wingers, and has shown a tendency to ball-watch and lose his man on crosses from the opposite flank. And while he occasionally makes a sensational tackle, he makes some odd decisions and takes some very bad angles one on one. He is also very tiny and walks his dog funny.
He is convinced, however, that the man to take him to the next level is already at the club:
"He always says that he wants me to attack but above all I have to defend and be in my position,
"I know that I am a defender and defending is the most important thing but if I see an opportunity to attack I will do it as well.
"I am 23 years old now and I have a lot left to learn, a lot to improve and a lot to grow as a player.
"The fans will see a lot more of Alberto Moreno. (...)
"I think he has been here long enough to know all the players, their attributes and how they can contribute to the team.
"The manager is very smart, he loves his profession and football and he is very dedicated to it.
"However, he also knows that we all have to keep improving and to do better than we are doing so far."
The young Spaniard hits on a lot of the right notes here, showing an understanding of where he needs to improve and suggesting that he is looking to do just that. Along with a very solid manager in Jürgen Klopp, Moreno also has a terrific role model for what is required at fullback on the opposite side of the pitch, as Nathaniel Clyne displays just the right balance between being an attacking outlet and a shutdown defender. If Moreno were to align his game more with Clyne's towards the tail end of the season, the rumours of Liverpool searching for a new starter at left-back might just quiet down by the time the transfer window comes around.