Liverpool are closely monitoring AZ Alkmaar’s right-back, Yukinari Sugawara, with hopes that he might be the next Trent Alexander-Arnold for the team.
Earlier in the summer, Anfield Watch exclusively revealed Liverpool’s keen interest in Yukinari Sugawara from AZ Alkmaar. While Liverpool didn’t proceed with a formal approach, the Japan international remains a player of significant interest to them.
Statsbomb has just released data comparing Sugawara to Liverpool’s current right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold. According to their analysis, Sugawara stands out as the most similar under-23 player in Europe to Alexander-Arnold.
If Liverpool are seeking a solid backup for Alexander-Arnold, Sugawara stands out as an excellent option. Playing as a right-back for the Reds demands a unique skill set, making it a challenging position.
It’s rare for a club to rely heavily on a full-back for creativity. Alexander-Arnold has excelled in this role at the highest level, showcasing his talent.
According to Statsbomb’s data, both players excel in progressing the ball and generating xG, with Alexander-Arnold performing in a more competitive league.
Yet, the 23-year-old Sugawara displays immense potential. Fbref data reveals his notable rankings in the Eredivisie: 2nd for crosses into the box, 3rd for expected assists, and 5th for chances created.
Interestingly, Alexander-Arnold is evolving into a midfielder. Liverpool might consider using him in that role regularly. However, the challenge remains: finding a competent right-back replacement.
Players like Conor Bradley could develop into that role. Yet, for an immediate solution, Sugawara remains a promising option. Recruiting him might enable Liverpool to transition Alexander-Arnold to midfield seamlessly.
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