The massive recent improvement shown by Liverpool – who are up to a close third in the Premier League having finished outside the top six for the last two seasons – has been kept in check due to the lack of squad-depth at Anfield and boss Brendan Rodgers may take a step towards remedying that problem by moving for Steaua Bucharest left-back Iasmin Latovlevici in January.
Liverpool are 11/5 to beat Arsenal at the Emirates, with money back on selected bets if striker Luis Suarez bags the first goal, but it is in defence that the former Swansea chief must bring in reinforcements as the Reds have conceded more than twice as many goals in their last four Premier League matches of 2013/14 as they did in the first five.
Spanish left-back Jose Enrique has lost his place in the team to on-loan Frenchman Aly Cissokho.
Rodgers had so little faith in Enrique’s defensive abilities last season that left-winger Stewart Downing – who has since moved to West Ham – often started in defence, with the 27-year-old former Newcastle man pushed into a more attacking role.
Both Enrique and Jordan Henderson have been utilised at left-wing back in their manager’s 3-5-2 formations this season, but Cissokho – who is expected to return to Valencia at the end of the season – has been preferred in the position when fit.
With just 18 months left on his Steaua contract Latovlevici’s transfer fee will not put Liverpool off.
Latovlevici worked his way up the Romanian league ladder before joining the 1986 European Cup winners in a five-year deal back in 2010, winning the Romanian Cup in 2011/12 and helping his club capture the league title for the first time in seven years last term.
However, his contract is set to expire at the end of the 2014/15 season and Steaua will be eager to cash in their prize asset for whatever they can get either in January or next summer rather than lose him for nothing a year later.
Rodgers may have to pounce for Latovlevici in January with some of the continent’s biggest clubs interested in signing the 27-year-old.
Agent Florian Iacob has been touting his star client in the Romanian media and confirmed that although Liverpool did not make a bid for the player over the summer, they have shown an interest in signing him.
However, Iacob has claimed that Monaco – who only signed 34-year-old left-back Eric Abidal on a year-long contract over the summer – are in for Latovlevici and Roma have also expressed an interest in the defender.