It has been widely reported that Liverpool have agreed terms with Southampton for the transfer of defender Nathaniel Clyne. Clyne, an England international, appears to be headed to the Merseyside club in a £12.5 million deal (£10 million up front, with £2.5 million in add-ons).
Liverpool fans should be elated with the news of Clyne’s arrival. First off, the Reds are getting one of the top right backs in the Premier League. The 24-year-old Clyne has had three full seasons in England’s top-flight under his belt and was a big reason for Southampton’s record as the second-best defense in the league during the 2014-15 campaign. Secondly, not only does Liverpool receive a top player, but they are getting him at a very good price.
Just last summer, defenders Marcos Rojo (£16 million), Luke Shaw (£30 million), Calum Chambers (£16 million) and Eliquim Mangala (£31 million) were all transferred to new clubs for significantly more money than what Liverpool have to pay for the Premier League proven Clyne.
Not only are Liverpool receiving a talented player in Clyne for the right price, but they are getting the type of player that they desperately need. The Reds gave up the second-most goals in league play of the eight teams that qualified for European competitions (Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Liverpool, and West Ham).
The Clyne signing should certainly bring stability to a defense that allowed three or more goals in seven Premier League matches during the 2014-15 season (including both meetings with Crystal Palace and six goals on the last day of the campaign to Stoke City).
Right-back was a season-long issue for Liverpool during the 2014-15 campaign. Veteran Glen Johnson, who was a mainstay at right-back during his six seasons at Anfield, endured a tough year and was recently released by the club. The England international started 15 league matches last season, but was utilized in all three positions in defense for the Reds.
Javier Manquillo was deployed at right-back for manager Brendan Rodgers at the beginning of the season. While the 21-year-old has showed some promise, he did not feature during league play in the 2015 calendar year.
Versatile Germany U-21 international, Emre Can, also filled in at the right side of defense in the latter part of the season for Liverpool. Can proved his worth, as he played admirably in defense, however, most see the 21-year-old as more of a midfielder in the future.