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Liverpool Get Second Chance at Argentinean Right Back

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Gabriel Mercado has broken his contract with Monterrey, leading to speculation a Liverpool move could be back on.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima v River Plate - FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

When there were whispers that Liverpool might be interested in Argentina and River Plate veteran right back Gabriel Mercado earlier in the summer, we didn’t pay them much heed. After all, a 29-year-old who had never played in Europe didn’t seem the likeliest of targets.

Still, for at least a few days, the man who set up on the right flank for Argentina at the Copa America Centenario was linked with a move to Liverpool. There were even a few whispers that it might have been Gabriel Mercado that Jürgen Klopp had wanted to get a live look at when he showed up at a Copa America match.

It all seemed rather pointless, though. Not only was he a veteran with no European experience, but he was also meant to be heading to Mexican champions Monterrey in a €2M deal. Now, though, the player has backed out of that move, forcing the club to release a statement on the player "breaking the agreement."

That means we now get another round of Liverpool speculation—and it’s a little harder to ignore given one would tend to think Mercado must have had a good reason for breaking his contract with Monterrey. A good reason like that perhaps he has a bigger wage packet heading his way from a Premier League side.

Of course, most of the same questions—the same doubts—as before remain. Mercado is a solid veteran player at a position Liverpool already have a locked-in starter at in Nathaniel Clyne. If he were to arrive, it would have to be as back up, which would seem to push Jon Flanagan down the pecking order.

That could mean that Flanagan could be set to move on. It could, just maybe, also mean Liverpool have abandoned their chase of Ben Chilwell at left back and that Flanagan will be used to back up the left flank while Mercado backs up the right flank given he has no real experience on his off-flank.

However, Mercado does have some ability to fill in at centre half in a pinch, which could make him an emergency option in the middle of defence should Lucas Leiva decide he cannot accept a role as fourth or fifth centre half and fourth or fifth central midfielder this season. Still, for now it all seems rather a stretch.