Luis Alberto: Who is Liverpool's latest young Spanish playmaker?
By Thomas Atzenhoffer
Liverpool have continued their early summer transfer dealings with the announcement of young Spanish winger, Luis Alberto. The 20-year-old joins the club from Spanish side Sevilla, but he was noticed over the course of last campaign during his time on-loan to Barcelona B.
His move is still subject to international approval, but he has agreed a long-term deal with the Merseyside club and he will hope to make his way into the side during the summer friendly schedule.
In his first interview on Liverpool’s official website he was more than delighted to join the Reds:
"I feel like I'm in a bubble at the moment. For me Liverpool is a top team. I feel like I am dreaming and I want to enjoy it to the full.
I feel very excited, I've never felt so excited before but I'm very happy. I think I am the happiest man on earth.
I was surprised [when Liverpool showed interest in me]. You never expect this to happen to you. But as the deal moved forward, I became very happy and I wanted to come to Liverpool.”
Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre was also delighted to have completed the deal as he recognized that the player was a major target for Manager Brendan Rodgers’ in his quest to rebuild Liverpool the right way:
“It's fantastic news. He's a player that Brendan identified very early on and the scouting team did a lot of work on watching him.
After that the hard work started in terms of getting the deal together, both with his club and his agent. We're always pleased when that comes to fruition.
He's a very exciting player and I know Brendan is very excited about it. So hopefully our fans can be too.”
Brendan Rodgers as well commented on his excitement to bring Alberto to the club:
"He's another Coutinho-type. We brought in young Philippe Coutinho in January when he was 20 years of age but he had good experience and more importantly fitted the profile of what we're trying to do here and what we're trying to build.
Young Luis is exactly the same - a talented, very highly-rated young player when he was at Sevilla, but obviously spent last season at Barcelona B.
He's a big talent and one for now that can play. He's got competitive games behind him and is one we see progressing over the next few years.
Importantly, he knows the type of game and model we're trying to work in."
But, to many the name Luis Alberto does not mean a whole lot of anything. At only 20-years-old he is not a household name, even throughout the majority of Spain. He debuted for the Sevilla first team in 2011 at the age of 18, but it was with the Sevilla B side from 2009-12 and later Barcelona B in 2012-13 that he made his name.
For Sevilla’s B side he made 77 appearances scoring 25 goals but his 2012-13 campaign for Barcelona B showed his overall class as he scored 11 goals and provided 17 assists in 38 appearances for the Catalonian side.
Having been brought through the same Sevilla system that new Manchester City signing Jesus Navas also graduated from, Alberto’s pedigree is certainly one of note and he is expected to impress with Liverpool throughout his career.
His comparison to young Philippe Coutinho is a fair one as the two are both believed to be playmaking midfielders that will be essential to creating the type of pass and move possession based offense that Brendan Rodgers wants to create at Liverpool.
The anticipation of seeing Alberto on the pitch in red is already starting to buzz as the club look to be truly building an exciting youth filled side that will be interesting to watch come together.