Ricardo Rodriguez: Better than every left-back in the Premier League

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Manchester United were quite ridiculously linked with a fresh approach for Wolfsburg star Ricardo Rodriguez last week, a transfer story which given the £43m spent on Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo to play in the same position bordered on the ridiculous.

That was no reflection on Rodriguez though, a terrific full-back who has been Europe's most consistent defenders over the last 18 months and would walk into any top Premier League team on current form, without exception.

Rodriguez will surely be viewed as a transfer target by nearly top European club next summer if he continues to terrorise going forward in the Bundesliga again this term, but it's the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and even Chelsea who should be desperate to secure a £20m deal as a matter of urgency.

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What would Rodriguez offer?

For anyone not aware of the Swiss international's qualities he is a pacy, energetic left-back who has a quite remarkable knack of bombing forward to either score or pick out a killer ball in the final third.

Rodriguez is even on penalty duty for the Wolves and has a quite incredible goal record for a defender to match, scoring three goals in six Bundesliga games already this season.

The 22-year-old got seven in all competitions last season and also managed a very impressive 10 assists, more than any other full-back in one of Europe's top five leagues.

European football's worst kept secret has the end product to match his endeavour, but it's about time he made the step up to play Champions League football in all honesty.

Wolfsburg are aiming to match that ambition with a top-four finish in Germany this season but top clubs across the continent will probably hoping they fall short, primarily to persuade Rodriguez that it's time to move on and play for an elite European club in a switch that's slightly overdue.

Arsenal should be looking for starters

There'll be no shortage of suitors for Rodriguez if Wolfsburg do get lumbered with the Europa League again in 2015/16, but Arsenal should be one of the first in the queue.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has shown tremendous faith in Kieran Gibbs over the last two years, particularly considering the England defender's poor injury record.

Gibbs plays with pace and purpose but often little end product going forward, which means however hard it is for Wenger to admit signing Rodriguez would instantly upgrade his team, and that's before we mention the frankly disappointing Nacho Monreal.

Wenger was prepared to take a £16m punt on a prospect in Calum Chambers this summer, why not go out and sign with perhaps the exception of Shaw the world's most promising full-back for a very similar price?

Chelsea could even make room for another quality addition

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho saw the importance of adding a modern, attacking full-back for strength and spent nearly £20m on Filipe Luis, a key figure in Atletico's La Liga success.

Cesar Azpilicueta has kept his left-back role so far this season but expect a shift in the long-term, with Branislav Ivanovic knocking on despite remaining remarkably consistent.

When that shift happens Mourinho could definitely move Azpilicueta to his natural position at right-back, which would leave Luis needing a top-class rival for the starting berth on the opposite flank.

Rodriguez would fit the bill perfectly, able to produce the enormous work-rate Mourinho demands and do enough defensive work to make sure Eden Hazard doesn't have to worry to much about tracking back against the vast majority of teams.

Mourinho is astute enough to see that a player who already has 26 international caps to his name and World Cup credentials will be courted by his closest rivals next year, so don't be surprised if he decides to spite them and add yet another classy defender to his star-studded Stamford Bridge squad.

Perhaps the Blues boss would be the perfect man to iron out the few flaws in this star's game too, with concentration when not in possession one issue that was exposed against Everton in the Europa League earlier this month.

City and Spurs could also justify swoop

With UEFA's Financial Fair Play sanctions set to bite hard over the next three years each and ever player signed has to be made with some semblance of financial responsibility attached.

City in particular need to justify their purchases while still balancing the books, but could easily make room for Rodriguez if Aleksandr Kolarov or Gael Clichy fail to make the grade this season.

Tottenham Hotspur are even a proven springboard to the Premier League for players who might ordinarily be expecting bigger moves, just look at the deal which brought Hugo Lloris to White Hart Lane.

The bottom line is that Rodriguez could genuinely prove to be the bargain of the century for whoever persuades Wolfsburg to part with a player who has the potential to become the world's best full-back over the next decade, who on current ability and form is producing a standard which can't be matched by any of his Premier League rivals.

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