Three reasons why Liverpool’s Javier Manquillo will bounce back
Tom Wellman gives three reasons why Javier Manquillo will bounce back from 20th-minute substitution at Upton Park
Anfield has seen his persistence already
Think back to the desperate latter stages of Liverpool’s opening Champions League group game against Ludogorets Razgrad, and you may remember that it was Javier Manquillo who earned the penalty to give the Reds a 2-1 win. With the Bulgarians holding onto a 1-1 scoreline, the on-loan right-back raced forwards to pressure the goalkeeper and Steven Gerrard made no mistake from the spot. Perhaps the fact that it was Manquillo charging down Borjan owed a little to an earlier miss from the Spaniard. A loose ball came to Manquillo in the 52nd minute of the match, but his attempt sailed over the bar from around eight-yards out. He quickly removed that horrible effort from his mind and sent in a wonderful cross for Fabio Borini, but for the Italian to be denied by Borjan. From then on it was arguably the best Anfield has seen of Manquillo to date, and he earned his reward by helping the team late on, proving his ability to overcome his mistakes.
Attacking intent will come through with more games
As seen on that Champions League night, there is more to come from Manquillo in an attacking sense. It has been painfully obvious that the new attacking players at Liverpool have failed to gel so far, with Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic struggling in particular. However, once they settle and Daniel Sturridge links up with Mario Balotelli, the style of football that almost brought Liverpool a surprise title could return. This in turn will breed confidence throughout the Reds’ team, allowing both Manquillo and Alberto Moreno to bomb on down the wings, less concerned with leaving gaps at the back. Even if Glen Johnson returns from injury to reclaim his spot at right-back, Brendan Rodgers could utilise Manquillo as a substitute to do the extra running at tired defences if the side need a goal. Manquillo is by no means the finished quantity defensively, but he does have a point to prove when going forwards.
He has a frank and honest manager
Rodgers showed he was a manager determined to win at all costs by sacrificing a defender after just 20 minutes at the weekend, though he also showed a duty of care to Manquillo after the game. Rodgers explained his decision on Monday, saying that he had spoken to the 20-year-old and that he was fine. The Northern Irishman also praised the Spaniard, keen for the boy to not lose any confidence. The relationship between the pair seems rosy, especially considering what Manquillo said about Rodgers at the start of September. “I get on very well with the manager here. He helps us with everything he can, which is great. He also speaks Spanish fluently too, so it’s really easy for us to communicate,” Manquillo said of his new boss. Rodgers has shown his commitment to young players and has been integral to the rise of Raheem Sterling during his time at Liverpool. He will continue to nurture and trust Manquillo, and the West Ham saga will only help his progression at Anfield.