Just 12 months ago Emiliano Insua was nothing more than a useful squad player for manager Rafa Benitez to have at his disposal, as back-up for the likes of Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena. With the former currently out injured and the latter shipped off to Napoli in the last transfer window, the young Argentinean has started all but two of Liverpool’s 32 premier league games this season but it’s obvious that fatigue is starting to catch-up with the youngster.
Insua joined the reds from Boca Juniors in 2007 and initially struggled to settle in the Liverpool side and for a prolonged amount of time he was used in Gary Ablett’s reserve side including the one which won the Premier reserve league in 2008. Insua’s performances this season have been impressive especially for a man whose experience in the premier league is severely limited. As the season has worn on however it’s become obvious that the full-back has suffered as a result of being Benitez’s only natural left-back option and he has begun to look a yard short of pace.
That being said Insua’s performances should not be too harshly criticised especially when you take into account that he has already provided seven assists for goals this season, more than any other full-back this campaign.
Insua has himself stated that being part of a side that already contains fellow Argentineans Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez has helped him adjust to being part of the Liverpool side at such an early stage in his career.
‘’The Argentine people are really together for each other and it is such a different culture in England. In my first year here I couldn’t speak much English so to have Javier and Maxi here means it is very special for all three of us.’’
Insua has impressed many pundits of the game after a season in which before started, very little were known about the full-back. As well as impressing in defence Insua has shown against Arsenal this season that when given the opportunity he can hit an incredible left-footed strike. This was proven in the third-round of the league cup at the Emirates stadium back in October when he scored with an incredible left-footed volley which gave Fabianski in the Arsenal goal little chance.
With Fabio Aurelio well on his way back from injury, Insua may have support in his position in the run-up to Liverpool’s final six games of the season. Although he has already made a strong case for being Liverpool’s first choice left-back, Insua may be grateful for a rest after what has been a draining season.
One thing is for certain though and that is if Insua continues to play as he has been doing this season, he could certainly prove to be one of Liverpool’s more important first-team players.