A regular since his teenage years, local defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is Liverpool’s reigning right back. Although his defensive response is often criticized, his attacking performance is one of the best in the Premier League, with long and short passes in every kicking style, powerful right-footed shots, and high-precision free kicks.
However, his backup is not stable. Former Charlton defender Joe Gomez, who had been battling for a position, was converted to center back, and former England defender James Milner, who had also played as a reserve right back in recent years, has left the team.
The club brought in Calvin Ramsay last summer, but after an injury-plagued season, he was loaned out to Preston North End for the remainder of this season. Conor Bradley, who has matured during his time in the arms of Bolton, was expected to fill in at reserve, but is out of action with injury.
With a stable backup like left-back Kostas Tsimikas still undecided, Liverpool are interested in Japanese defender Yukinari Sugawara, who plays for AZ Alkmaar, according to a report by Anfield Watch.
The 23-year-old side-back officially joined AZ Alkmaar from Nagoya Grampus after a one-year loan period. He has scored 10 goals and 22 assists in 163 games for the Netherlands, and has been a regular full participant this season.
With his abundant stamina, he repeatedly moves up and down the right flank. When he gets up front at the right moment, he creates chances with accurate crosses and grander passes.
He has also made six appearances for Japan, and the time is approaching when he may consider stepping up from the club, where he is under contract until 2025.
The transfer fee is said to be €20 million, which is another reason to target him at a discount. The club would like to develop with Ramsay, Bradley, and other promising young side-backs around 20 years of age and have Trent Alexander-Arnold ready to take a break at any time.
Will Liverpool be willing to back up the club’s vice-captain by acquiring the Japanese defender?