Jurgen Klopp has the strongest squad he’s ever had during his time at Liverpool and now the pressure is on for him to deliver some silverware at the club. Unai Emery, on the other hand, is going through a rebuilding process at Arsenal with a top-four finish being a suitable target.
At the back, Liverpool have improved massively and possibly possess one of the best back fives in the league. Andrew Robertson’s rise has given Klopp a superb attacking outlet on the left and has allowed him to banish the error-prone Alberto Moreno.
Arsenal are a couple of transfer windows away from arriving at their ideal defence and without Nacho Monreal, Emery has lost out on an incredibly reliable defender.
Signed for £12 million from Sevilla, Moreno’s was greeted with excitement by many. The dynamic fullback is a typification of a modern fullback and it was initially thought that he’d be the club’s long-term number one. In his second game for the club, it looked as though he might just be that as after taking the ball from Andros Townsend, the Spaniard sprinted down the field to score his first goal for the club.
His ability to be a one-man counter-attack was an incredibly attractive attribute but it became quite obvious that he was a complete liability in defence.
Moreno was a permanent fixture in the side during his first two years but since then, he’s remained firmly on the bench. Now within the last year of his current deal, the Spaniard will likely be sold in January or go on a free over the summer.
Overall, he won’t go down as a great signing but at least he wasn’t a very expensive one.
TT Grade: C+
Signed for £8.5 million from Malaga five years ago, unlike Moreno’s start to his Liverpool career, Monreal had a fairly average beginning to life at Arsenal.
He made 10 appearances in his first with the club and at times looked a very shaky presence at the back for the club. Following a stint in the middle of defence, the Spaniard’s game improved massively and he’s now one of the most reliable players at the club.
He may not have the dynamism of Moreno but what he does have is the ability to be one of the better defenders in the league. As a result of his lack of pace going forward and his age (32), the defender doesn’t get the same attention as the likes of Benjamin Mendy but he’s arguably one of the best defenders in the league on his day. Signed for just £8.5 million, Monreal remains one of the best signings Arsenal have made over the last few years.
TT Grade: A-
With Moreno a constant liability at the back, the Spaniard remains one of the worst signings Liverpool have made. His pace and attacking threat isn’t enough to mask his terrible defensive performances.
In Monreal, however, Arsenal have a solid defender who goes under the radar for his superb performances but still should be recognised as a fantastic signing. The Arsenal man wins this one.
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