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Liverpool must forget Montoya and go on a Spanish full-back detox

| 14.12.2014

With Liverpool’s disastrous first half of 2014/15 intensified by their Champions League group-stage exit, it was inevitable that speculation about their January transfer window movements would intensify.

What wasn’t so predictable was that the main potential signing being discussed would be a reserve Barcelona full back who has been deemed worthy of one appearance all season: Martin Montoya.

The 23-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, has tired of wondering if he’ll ever get a proper shot at Camp Nou and decided that he is going to find a new home in January.

Agent Juan De Dios Carrasco confirmed both that “he will leave the club in January” and “there are clubs interested from England, Italy and Germany”, and The Independent have declared Liverpool to be one of those sides intrigued by Montoya’s availability.

Perhaps they reached that conclusion by noting how fond the Reds are of recruiting Spanish full backs. However, as the policy has yet to yield an undisputed success, it is one that they should probably consider ditching.

There have been five La Liga-reared left or right backs operating at Anfield in the last decade and none of them are currently in possession or on course to obtain Liverpool legend status, or even Gary McAllister-style cult icon plaudits: Josemi, Alvaro Arbeloa, Jose Enrique, Alberto Moreno and Javi Manquillo.

The latter two only arrived in the summer and neither have made themselves indispensible. Moreno started on the bench in five of their last six games, with Brendan Rodgers often preferring to play Glen Johnson out of position rather than risk the former Sevilla defender.

While Manquillo hasn’t been as error-prone as Moreno, he hasn’t proven himself to be an upgrade on Johnson either. However, he has been decent enough to suggest that Liverpool don’t need another right back at present.

Though this feels like a low point for the Reds, sat ninth in the Premier League with Europa League football on the horizon after Christmas, they are above Tottenham and Everton and just six points behind West Ham, who occupy the final Champions League place.

It is 14/5 that Rodgers’ men work their way into the top four once again by May.

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Alex Fortune