Udinese wing back Pablo Armero has been linked with Liverpool this week as a potential solution to the Reds’ left back problem, but who is he?
Armero is Colombian and started out life playing for America de Cali in his native country. The wing back had already played and impressed for Colombia’s U17s, making him a player with tremendous promise for his club. He made his debut for America in 2004, and during his four year stay with the team, he helped the club win its 13th national championship.
With his registration not owned by his club however, but by Sport Agency Turbo Sports, he was loaned out to Brazilian side Palmeiras in 2009. Still young, he made an impression in the Brazilian first division with his speed, crossing ability and attacking intent. He can play either as a full back and left winger, and he stated himself he feels most comfortable in a wing back role where he has the ability to both defend and get forward:
“I like attacking football, but I also like to defend, which is why I feel comfortable in this position.”
After a season at Palmeiras, where he made 36 appearances and score two goals, he was on the verge of signing for Italian club Parma last summer. Armero had signed a pre contract agreement with the Serie A team, but due to Parma having too many non-EU players in their squad, the move collapsed.
Despite the disappointment over the failed moved to Parma, it was no long before the 25 year old received interest from another Italian club. On 28th August 2010, Armero signed for Udinese. Already an experienced international with 21 caps to his name after making his debut in 2008, he linked up with compatriots Christian Zapata and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado in Udine, and the trio have helped the Italian club push towards a European place this season.
Udinese are still in with a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, and have backed up their credentials with wins over Napoli and Inter Milan this season. In both matches, Armero starred as he performed well in his wing back position, causing trouble especially for Inter full back Maicon. It has been rumoured that he has been watched by Barcelona and he recently stated that he would like to play for a team that plays attacking football:
“Real Madrid and Juventus are two great teams, but I would prefer to play the attacking football of Barcelona or Arsenal.”
Armero’s contract only has 12 months to run, according to reports, and while he is currently valued at £9million by Udinese, the lack of time left on his deal could persuade the Italian club to lower their asking price. Strong, quick, and a good crosser, he does have many of the attributes required to make it in the Premier League, but with his penchant for getting forward as a wing back, would he be suspect defensively? What do you think?
David Tully is the editor of Live4Liverpool