Football

Jamal Lewis' Athletics Background Makes Him The Ideal Jurgen Klopp Fullback

Jamal Lewis' Athletics Background Makes Him The Ideal Jurgen Klopp Fullback

While it was always likely that Liverpool would have a reasonably quiet summer, it was clear that a few new recruits would be needed. Some areas of the squad are lacking depth, meaning Jurgen Klopp would have to look for some good value deals to fill those holes.

When rumours emerged that Jamal Lewis had become a prime target, the deal seemed to make a lot of sense. The left back had an excellent season despite Norwich City's struggles and at 22-years old still has plenty of room to improve.

Liverpool are also in desperate need of a backup for Andy Robertson, with James Milner forced to deputise for the Scot on the occasions he was forced to miss a game.

The club's initial £10million was rejected, but it is expected that a compromise between the two sides will be reached.

Fullbacks play a ket part in Jurgen Klopp's system, as evidenced by the ridiculous assists numbers Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have produced over the last couple of seasons. Their playmaking capabilities are massively important but their ability to get up and down the pitch is equally vital.

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Jamal Lewis shouldn't have problem in that regard. The Northern Ireland international (born in Luton) was a decorated track athlete in his younger days, competing and thriving at a national level.

He thrived at the 800m and 1500m, representing England schools on a number of occasions. He also finished second in the U17 national cross country championships in 2014.

A quick look at thepowerof10 website, which tracks the performance of young athletes throughout the UK, will give you a glimpse at Lewis' talents.

Before switching his full-time focus to football, he registered a personal best of 50.31 seconds in the 400m. To put that into perspective, that would only have been five seconds short of the Olympic qualifying time for 2020. Not bad for a 16-year old.

His best 800m time was 1.52.45, which is seven seconds off the 2020 Olympic standard. Lewis was consistently ranked in the top ten 800m runners in the country for his age group.

He had had a personal best of 3.58.22 in the 1500m, which he registered at 15-years old. Lewis also ran a 12.3 second 100m race at the age 0f 14.

All of this would indicate that the defender would have no trouble getting up and down the left flank when called upon by Klopp.

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Gary Connaughton

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