With Alberto Moreno and Javi Manquillo arriving over the summer, many Liverpool fans felt as though the club had sorted out its fullback issues for at least a couple of seasons. Strong starts for both only reinforced that idea, though in recent weeks the two young Spaniards have seen their minutes become far more limited.
An unexpected result of that—and one that provides a small insight into the minds of those charged with filling the tabloid pages with largely spurious speculation—can be seen with the Daily Express deciding to link the club to Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao today. They have even, bless their souls, said that Liverpool are in "dire need of a new left back."
Liverpool aren't. They're in dire need of a striking option that provides mobility and aren't injured. And they're in dire need of a starting goalkeeper now that Simon Mignolet has been relegated to Brad Jones' back-up. Unless Glen Johnson leaves in Janaury, they aren't in dire need of a new fullback—and if he did they might rather need a new right back.
And even if Johnson were to leave, with Jon Flanagan set to return in a few weeks it's arguable fullback would remain a position of lesser need for the club. As for left backs in particular and supposedly dire needs, there would be little sense in getting one with a similar skill-set to those already at the club if those already at the club aren't passing muster.
Moreno, for all his promise and attacking talent, has in some quarters received criticism for his defensive play. It's a criticism that largely ignores the role he's been asked to fill and that he was brought in for his attacking prowess by the manager, but if one were determined they could make a case that Liverpool could use a more solid defender on the left.
Fabio Coentrao wouldn't be that defender, and while he's more polished with the ball than Moreno, Liverpool's current left back's recovery speed likely gives him an edge when it comes to the defensive side of the game. If Liverpool are in dire need of a new left back, Coentrao, a very similar sort of fullback to Moreno, simply isn't the answer.