Liverpool are close to signing SL Benfica’s Paraguay winger.
Liverpool are closing in on the loan signing of SL Benfica left back Lorenzo Melgarejo, according to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles, with a work permit the only obstacle currently in the way.
The versatile Paraguayan is an attacking full back who has been converted from his previous position of winger, and would offer a constant outlet on the left flank if played there – much as Leighton Baines has done for Everton in the last few years.
However, whilst he excels going forward, his prowess in defence leaves much to be desired.
As a player unfamiliar to the role of left back, Melgarejo was often targeted by opposition coaches as a weak point in the Benfica side – and successfully too.
The 22 year-old was the victim of Benfica manager Jorge Jesus’ desire to replicate previous success changing Fabio Coentrao from skilful winger to brilliant full back, but does not appear to possess the necessary aggression or discipline to make the transition down the pitch.
Given Melgarejo’s hugely impressive 2011-12 season on loan at Pacos de Ferreira, where he scored ten goals in his 29 Primeira Liga appearances to become the club’s top scorer, it is likely that Brendan Rodgers is looking to the Paraguay international to add another option on the wing rather than in the back four.
Melgarejo’s salary of €500,000 per year means that he would be a low risk signing for Liverpool, with the Reds having the option to purchase him at the end of the season for less than €10 million.