Remember Javier Manquillo? Liverpool fans had their high hopes with the Spaniard when they signed him on loan for two years with an option to make it permanent after the completion of the loan spell. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the young right-back could not impress in a Liverpool shirt.
It was quite shocking to see the youngster’s loan spell cut short after he was frozen out from the first team set-up after Christmas, and Atletico terminated his deal due to lack of first-team appearances. The Spanish under-21 international made 19 appearances for the Reds during his six months at Anfield and contributed with two assists.
If reports from Sky Sports are to be believed, the Spaniard could be on his way back to the Premier League with Watford and Sunderland both interested in his signature. With Billy Jones, Jan Kirchhoff, John O’Shea and Lamine Kone injured, Sunderland are right now short of options at the back and David Moyes is looking for options in the market and Manquillo would be a shrewd signing from the former Everton boss.
Even though Manquillo failed to make his mark at Liverpool, it would be wrong to presume that he is not a quality player. His loan spell with the Reds was not all bad. Manquillo is any day a big upgrade on Donald Love, Sunderland’s only option in the right-back position right now. The former Manchester United full-back is just one year younger than Manquillo but Manquillo is far more experienced at the big stage.
With 17 appearances for Atletico Madrid, 19 for Liverpool and 43 for Marseille, Manquillo knows what it takes to impress at the big stage. Defensively solid, the Spaniard is a brilliant passer of the ball, pretty much what you expect from a Spanish footballer. The full-back cannot be knocked off the ball easily.
Probably the reason why then Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers did not rate the full-back highly was his lack of adventure from the flanks. Manquillo is more of a conservative full-back who focuses on defending first. The 22-year-old needs to work on his crossing as well. However, he is flawless in his defensive duties and that is what Sunderland needs more. Just aged 22, Manquillo still has plenty to learn and can become a long-term success at the Stadium of Light.