Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James has voiced his concern over the club’s reported interest in Bayern Munich central defender David Alaba.
James says that Alaba would only be a short-term fix for Liverpool and could stunt the development of younger players at the club going forward.
Liverpool are reportedly keen on signing Alaba and have been told that they can sign him for £30m in January, with his contract at Bayern expiring at the end of the season.
“These short-term fixes have long-term consequences because you end up pushing someone further down the line. It’s whether it fits into the Liverpool plan.
“One thing Liverpool have been very good at over the years is their recruitment, since Klopp took over, so if they weren’t thinking about him before they wouldn’t be one of their targets.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Alaba has the potential to be more than just a short-term fix for Liverpool at centre-back. He only turned 28 earlier this year, which means that he could still have plenty of years left at the top of his game. For example, Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen both left the Premier League at the age of 33, showing that Alaba could have five years still to give to Liverpool in the top-flight.
James also says that it could stunt the development of younger players, but Rhys Williams is only 19 at the moment. So, if Alaba came in and was able to perform at a high level until he was 33, Williams would be 24 and heading into his peak years of potential. This means that Liverpool could have the natural progression from Alaba to Williams five years down the line. It could also give Liverpool the chance to send Williams out on loan for a couple of years to play regular football and develop whilst they have a steady performer in Alaba playing in the team.
Alaba has an average career WhoScored rating of 7.06, playing at left-back, centre-back and in midfield for club and country. This shows that he has been able to maintain a consistently high standard for Bayern Munich and Austria over the years, suggesting that he could carry that form over to England with Liverpool.
I’m a 22-year-old from Lowestoft who supports Norwich. I write and edit content for Anfield Watch and previously worked for Fresh Press as a content creator.