According to Sport, Liverpool have set their sights on Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo. The Dominican born player has emerged as one of the most wanted defenders in the ongoing summer transfer window, and he has been reportedly identified as the ideal target for Jurgen Klopp as he attempts to add more quality to the left-back slot this summer.
The report claims that Firpo has a release clause of €50 million and the Reds could face stiff competition from Spanish champions FC Barcelona in the pursuit of this highly talented fullback.
Firpo’s breakthrough campaign in La Liga
After impressing in the youth leagues, Firpo was initially promoted to the Real Betis senior side in January of last year. And since then he has become a vital component of the Betiscos backline, notably featuring in 14 games during his professional debut campaign last year.
Firpo continued his impressive run of form in the recently concluded 2018/19 season, making 24 league appearances, during which he was involved in seven goals. His overall game time, however, was drastically minimised due to a hamstring and later, a muscle injury as he ended up featuring in only 1,937 minutes of league football. That being said, Firpo’s service on the flanks played a crucial role in assuring Betis a tenth-placed finish in the league.
What can Firpo bring to the table?
Firpo is a technically astute left-back, who is blessed with excellent close control. So much so that he is even capable of operating as a winger. He typically loves to move forward, but his nimble footwork allows him to cut inside and break into the opposition defence from a more central area of the pitch. He can also remain wide and provide width into the attack.
But, Firpo’s game is not only restricted to just attack as he is quite aware of his defensive chores as well. The 22-year-old is an athletic and a physically dominant defender, who is also good at making strong tackles to win the ball back for his team.
Should Liverpool make a move for Firpo?
With no more Alberto Moreno in the squad, Firpo will be an excellent addition to the Liverpool side. The Spaniard can provide stiff competition to Andrew Robertson in the left-back slot and given his immense potential and all-round gameplay, he can even eclipse the Scot international if he is nurtured properly.
That being said, Firpo’s hefty release clause of €50 million could be an issue. But, meeting that valuation is a possibility Liverpool should explore if they are to strengthen their squad further and once again pose a strong threat to Manchester City for the title next season.