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Insua, Emiliano

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EMILIANO INSUA 2007-11

 

by Dave Usher

 

Date of Birth - 07/01/89

Nationality - Argentinian

Position - Left back

Games - 62

Goals - 1

Club Hons (Lpool) - Reserve League North 2007/08, National Reserve Title 2007/08

Intnl Hons - Argentina caps

Other Clubs - Boca Juniors, Sporting Lisbon

 

Highly rated Argentinian youngster who joined the reds on an 18 month loan deal in January 2007 from Boca Juniors. Whereas most of the younger players brought to the club at that time were not expected to challenge for a first team spot in the near future, the word coming out of Anfield was that Insua's talent was so prodigious that he could be challenging for a spot in the senior side by the end of his first season.

 

Whilst that didn't quite turn out to be the case - he wasn't exactly challenging for a place - he did play for the senior side a few times as Rafa Benitez used his shadow squad in the Premiership so he could keep players fresh for the Champions League. The youngster acquitted himself well and showed that he could be a player to look out for in the future.

 

A powerfully built lad with a terrific left foot, Insua loves to get forward. He was playing for the successful Argentinian u20 side when he was just 17 years old, which said a lot about how highly regarded he was in his homeland as a teenager, and he represented his country in the World U20 Championships in the summer of 2007.

 

He had been expected to force his way into the first team in 2007-08, but once again it didn't happen and he found opportunities hard to come by. Riise and Aurelio shared the left back duties, with Arbeloa also being preferred to Insua.

 

It was only in the final couple of games of the season, with Aurelio injured and Riise out of favour and set for a summer departure, that Insua was given another taste of senior football. He did well, but the summer saw Rafa Benitez splashing out £7m on Italian full back Andrea Dossena, meaning that despite Riise's departure Emiliano was no better off and still found himself third choice.

 

The Italian struggled to adapt to English football however, and eventually Insua was given his chance thanks to Aurelio's fragile body and Dossena's inability to defend, and once more he made a favourable impression. A confident performance away at Arsenal showed that he was ready to stake a claim for a place in the side. Just as he was beginning to establish himself in the team, he then had to go away for several weeks to represent his country in a youth tournament.

 

In his absence, Dossena was given another opportunity, and Aurelio regained fitness, meaning Insua found himself back in the reserves upon his return from international duty. Yet another injury to Aurelio opened the door for him again towards the end of the 2008-09 season, and once more he turned in some assured performances, with the only blemish being a rare mistake in a game at Hull that led to a goal.

 

The 2009/10 season saw Insua move ahead of both Dossena and Aurelio and establish himself as the clubs first choice left back. He was clearly superior to Dossena, who was shipped back to Italy in January 2010, but he moved ahead of Aurelio largely through default, as the Brazilian's persistent injury problems meant he was rarely available for more than two games in a row.

 

Insua's form was patchy, with some good displays mixed in with some awful ones. He seemed to be very comfortable going forward, but defensively he was being targetted by opposing sides due his slowness on the turn and difficulty in handling wingers with pace. His only goal for the club came in a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal in the League Cup, and it was a screamer too. A dipping 25 yard half volley that flew past the Gunners keeper to level the scores at 1-1. He also earned his first full cap for Argentina, as coach Diego Maradona selected him for a World Cup qualifier against Peru.

 

When Roy Hodgson replaced Rafa Benitez in the summer of 2010, he uickly made it clear Insua was not in his plans and sent him off on loan to Galatasaray. That spell was fairly unsuccessful, and the Turkish side showed no interest in making the deal permanent so Insua returned to Liverpool for pre-season training ahead of the 2011/12 season. New boss Kenny Dalglish didn't fancy him either, preferring 17 year old Jack Robinson and 18 year old right back John Flanagan at left back in the pre-season games before eventually signing Jose Enrique from Newcastle to be his first choice number 3.

 

Insua was released on a free transfer and signed a 5 year deal with Sporting Lisbon in the middle of August 2011.

 

 

Video Clips of Emiliano Insua in action

 

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