The past few days have been a perfect indicator of the type of player Brendan Rodgers prefers to work with.
Rodgers spent just under £7 million to sign the 20-year-old, and while the transaction has its risks, the player who was unveiled at the club’s Melwood training facility on Thursday has enough raw talent to suggest he may be viewed as a bargain buy in a few years’ time.
Although he signed professional papers in 2009, Luis Alberto played only seven La Liga matches during his three seasons in Spain. A graduate of Sevilla’s youth system, which he joined as an 11-year-old, he played most of his football for Sevilla Atletico in Segunda B and this past campaign was loaned to Barcelona’s second team, where he played alongside the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha.
In 38 matches for the Barcelona B squad, Luis Alberto bagged 11 goals and added 17 assists, and the shambolic state of Sevilla’s finances required that they cash in on him while his stock was high.
A hybrid forward who can play in a withdrawn attacking role or on the left wing, Luis Alberto would fit perfectly up front in a 4-3-3 formation should Rodgers choose to emulate the setup that brought him so many plaudits at Swansea City.
Packing pace, skill and that unteachable element of football sense, he could also operate either in the middle or on the left of the playmaking trio in a 4-2-3-1 system, and already the prospect of him linking up with Philippe Coutinho is a mouth-watering one.
Rodgers is still likely to address his central striking situation, and with Luis Suarez expected to leave Anfield following the Confederations Cup, there will be even more depth required at the position.
But the 40-year-old has supposedly been given a €50 million war chest, and already, according to Goal.com, Shakhtar Donetsk forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan is thought to have been lined up as Suarez’s replacement.
As for business already conducted, Luis Alberto represents Rodgers’ third foray into the summer market, having already scooped up Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City and signed Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo.
But of the three, Luis Alberto looks to be Liverpool’s best piece of business so far.