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With Ricardo Rodriguez looking likely to join his close pal Granit Xhaka at Arsenal before the start of the next campaign, Kieran Gibbs is rumoured to be heading toward the exit door at Emirates Stadium, in search of first-team opportunities. Unsurprisingly, former title rivals Liverpool are mooted as potential suitors, with the club seemingly keen to add a left-back to their roster.
The Reds were heavily linked with a multi-million move for Cologne fullback Jonas Hector, but fresh reports from Liverpool Echo suggest that a move for the Germany international has only a slender chance of coming to fruition.
With an inexperienced Ben Chilwell being the only other reported target, the rumours linking the Arsenal defender with an Anfield switch instantly seem believable.
Need for an Alberto Moreno improvement
As exciting a prospect Liverpool’s current first-choice Alberto Moreno is, his defensive frailties have cost Liverpool points on numerous occasions. By the laws of football, being sidelined or the fear of being sidelined should goad the player to run the extra mile or tweak his playing style to help the team produce results.
Should Gibbs move to Liverpool, he will effortlessly replace the £12 million fullback as he boasts the defensive edge his Spanish counterpart desperately lacks.
Besides, his impressive crossing ability suggests he could be as effective going forward as he is defensively.
Right move at the right time for Kieran Gibbs
Having already played alongside Jordan Henderson, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner across different international levels, he will likely take little to no time to adapt to life at Liverpool.
His major criticism remains his far from impressive technical ability, and as long as he dons the red and white strip under Arsene Wenger, he will likely never be an automatic starter as technical players have always been the apple of the Arsenal manager’s eye.
Under Jurgen Klopp, he has better chances of reviving his career that has largely stagnated since Nacho Monreal’s breakthrough.
Will Liverpool get their man?
With Liverpool not playing Champions League football next season, they may not be able to attract world-class talents as only their manager remains the only figure of attraction at the club presently. Only Gibbs looks a realistic target, and the fact that they could get a proven left-back at a bargain price should be too tempting to resist for Liverpool top shelves.
Although all three parties will be equally benefitted if the transfer does go through, Arsenal could still end up retaining him in order to be in compliance with the Football Association’s new rules pertaining to home-grown players.
With Grey Dyke’s proposition looking to promoting home-grown talents by cutting down the number of non-homegrown players from 17 to 13 in the 25-man squad, the London club may not afford to lose their 26-year-old home-grown player as, as things stand, even youngsters Daniel Crowley and Matt Macey should be forced into the Premier League squad to not fall foul of the new regulations.
However, a transfer cannot be completely ruled out as Arsenal will need to name only nine home-grown talents next season, with the numbers increasing by one each year.
Written by Praveen Paramasivam
Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen
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