Valentin Barco: Who is the wonderkid linked with a move to Liverpool?

Andy Robertson's long-term injury has shown Liverpool just how reliant they still are on the left-back.

The Scot dislocated his shoulder back in October and is set to be missing until the beginning of 2024 for the Reds. In his place, Kostas Tsimikas has been Jurgen Klopp's go-to option on the left side of defence, but the 'Greek Scouser' has seriously underwhelmed.

The former Olympiacos man has twice gifted goals to opponents - against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup and Toulouse in the Europa League - and has even been replaced by Joe Gomez at left-back in recent weeks as he struggles for form.

The drop-off from Robertson has been vast, with Klopp unlikely to have been satisfied by what he's seen from Tsimikas in the 29-year-old's absence.

Even Robertson hasn't been at his best this season, with years of over-reliance on the left-back perhaps taking its toll as he approaches 30.

With the Reds possibly in the market for Robertson's long-term successor, Liverpool have been linked with exciting youngster Valentin Barco of Boca Juniors.

The 19-year-old has rose to prominence at La Bombonera and is now a target for many of Europe's elite.

But exactly who is the Argentine on Liverpool's radar? Let's take a look.


Despite still being a teenager, Barco has already amassed 33 appearances for Boca since making his debut all the way back in 2021 when he was just 16-years-old.

Barco was an important part of the Boca team that made it all the way to the Copa Libertadores final, even featuring in his side's defeat to fellow Liverpool target Andre and his Fluminense teammates.

In those 33 matches, Barco has laid on four assists and also managed his first senior goal against Monagas SC.

He has also featured readily within Argentina's youth teams and played at the U20 World Cup back in May despite his side's exit at the hands of Nigeria in the round of 16.

Former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano, who coached Barco with the Argentina U20s, once said: "Guys like Valentin have a different talent from the rest." A glowing reference from a fan favourite at Anfield, the young wonderkid certainly has his pick of suitors as a result of his enormous potential.


While often featuring at left-back, Barco is someone who prioritises attack over defence. The Boca man has been used up and down the left-hand side, often playing as a winger, and has even been occasionally deployed in central midfield.

There are question marks over where Barco's best position actually is and whether he will end up as a left-back. For example, in the Copa Libertadores final, he was used as a left-winger in front of Frank Fabra.

Known for his explosive pace and quick feet, Barco has shown great maturity and wonderful tactical intelligence to play across multiple positions and in various roles at such a young age.

Barco's versatility could prove incredibly useful, especially considering Klopp loves having players capable of performing in more than one position at Anfield.

However, the 19-year-old might lack the defensive nous to compete in the Premier League, perhaps being more suited to an advanced role on the left-hand side.


While no exact value has been placed on Barco, the starlet reportedly has an £8m release clause in his Boca Juniors contract.

At that price, Barco appears a no-brainer for any big Premier League club, with £8m a drop in the ocean for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.

However, said release clause has not been confirmed, meaning Barco could cost significantly more for potential suitors.

When looking at some of the past South American wonderkids that have arrived in the Premier League - Moises Caicedo to Bright0n for £4.5m and Julian Alvarez to Man City for £14m - Liverpool would be wise to keep one eye firmly on Barco.

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