Thursday, October 6, 2022

Liverpool Keeping A Keen Eye On This La Liga Defender: What Will He Bring To Merseyside?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent print edition of Mundo Deportivo (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Liverpool are keeping a keen eye on Espanyol centre-back Leandro Cabrera but will face competition from Real Betis in pursuit of his signature. The same source has also relayed claims made by PericosOnline about how the Spanish club are willing to allow the Uruguayan centre-back to leave on loan to a top tier club as long as his full wages are covered (via Sport Witness). Hence, Cabrera could prove to be a cheaper option for the Reds to consider ahead of the new season.

Cabrera’s Impressive Form For Espanyol This Season

Despite his team’s recent struggles, the 29-year-old deserves a lot of credit for performing at a high level since his arrival from Getafe back in January. He has featured in a total of 35 matches for Getafe and Espanyol this term, registering three goals and one assist in all competitions, which highlight his knack to get involved in the final third.

Cabrera has enjoyed a decent run of form at the RCDE Stadium after averaging 1.4 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 4.4 clearances and 0.5 key passes per game in La Liga this season. However, he has been a bit sloppy with his ball-distribution when representing Francisco Rufete’s side as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 70.4% in league football so far (stats via whoscored).

The experienced defender has previously played for Uruguay at the Under-20 level but has still not earned a senior cap for his country. Maybe a summer switch to Anfield could provide him with a more prominent platform to prove his worth and secure a place in Óscar Tabárez’s squad for next year’s Copa America.

Liverpool keeping a keen eye on Leandro Cabrera who is challenging for the ball in the picture
Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (L) vies with Espanyol’s Uruguayan defender Leandro Cabrera during the Spanish League football match between Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on July 8, 2020. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The South American Sensation Bring To Merseyside?

Cabrera lacks pace, but he more than makes up for it through his incredible strength which allows him to overpower the opposition in the air. He is also proficient at making well-timed tackles and can read the danger quickly to pull off some vital interceptions and last-ditch clearances for his team. However, the Uruguayan centre-half needs to improve his passing if he intends to succeed at the highest level.

Recruiting Cabrera on loan could prove to be a decent short-term move for Jurgen Klopp as it will give him time to replace Dejan Lovren when the transfer market stabilises a bit at the end of next season. Based on the dire economic climate brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, the Reds can benefit from adding someone of Cabrera’s experience on loan as he has what it takes to serve as a useful squad player under the expert stewardship of Klopp at Anfield.

The Uruguayan defensive ace will not only add more bite and steel to the Liverpool backline but also enhance the overall depth of their squad. Plus, he will arguably be an upgrade over Lovren as long as he can maintain his high standards next season.

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