We thought we’d lost him. Last summer there was a growing sense that Alberto Moreno was not long for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool. The Spanish left-back had spent last season mostly rooted to the bench, watching James Milner do the heavy lifting in a role that Milner wasn’t used to or particularly interested in. Then the arrival of Andy Robertson seemed to suggest that Moreno would be the odd man out in a hierarchy that was still expected to be topped by Milner.
But Klopp has instead given Milner what he wanted all along and offered the England midfielder his due in the center of the park. And while Robertson showed plenty of promise upon first featuring for the club, it was Moreno’s performances that have convinced the manager.
Moreno has undoubtably had to work hard behind the scenes to up his game and reclaim the left back position. He will have strengthened both physically and mentally during his time off the pitch, proving that devotion and perseverance are rewarded by Jürgen Klopp, who sees his job as a teacher as well as a manager.
“I’m happier now things are going well for me and I’d say so far this has been a decent season for me, if not the best in my career as a professional football player,” said Moreno.
“I’m nearly at my best, but none of this comes without very hard work. Helping the side has its roots in the sacrifices you make, the hard work in preseason and the battling to get back in contention.
“All that is because of my desire to be here at Liverpool, one of the best clubs in the world.
“Playing well leads to happiness on and off the field for you and your family.”
Moreno has been very effective for Liverpool up and down the left side this season. His assist for Daniel Sturridge for the third goal against Maribor was the Spaniard’s third assist in four Champions League matches. After a season and summer of uncertainty, Moreno’s understanding of the team and his role and his confidence are all on the rise.
“You always want to help out your team and when you do provide an assist, especially as a defender, it’s something that makes you happy,” Moreno said.
“Above all it’s evidence that you’re helping the team and doing well as an individual as part of the team.”
Moreno’s hard work has also rewarded him with a call up to the Spain squad for their upcoming matches against Costa Rica and Russia. They grow up so fast, you guys.