Liverpool target Riza Durmisi aspires to follow Real Madrid's Marcelo

Riza Durmisi has only started 12 La Liga games for Real Betis, the club he joined last summer from Brondby in a €2 million transfer, but is already being linked with a move to Liverpool.

The 23-year-old left-back is tied to the Andalusian club until June 2021 and has a release clause set at €20 million, while Liverpool scouts have reportedly been monitoring Durmisi with a view to the club making a summer move.

Coach Jurgen Klopp needs a back-up for James Milner, with Alberto Moreno not having made the positive impact that was expected, and Durmisi has represented Denmark at every level. Indeed, he has made 17 appearances for the senior side since making his debut in June 2015, so has good experience for one so young.

Here are five things you need to know about the defender.

He is living his dream

Born in a suburb of Copenhagen, Durmisi is a third generation Dane of Macedonian descent from both sides.

"Football has always allowed me to forget all the problems," he told El Decano. "To be a footballer is a dream come true."

Religion is also important to Durmisi and he is a practicing Muslim. "I pray every Friday and I study Islam a lot," he said. "I don't do Ramadan when I train, only on my days off."

A youth product of Brondby, Durmisi made his senior debut in August 2012 and signed a three-year deal with the Danish outfit a year later when he was promoted to the first-team. After two strong seasons at Brondby, he signed a new contract but, after scoring seven goals in 107 appearances for the club, opted to start the next chapter of his career in Spain.

He made the step up to La Liga

Betis paid Durmisi's €2m release clause in May 2016 and the player signed a five-year contract. "I was a cheap signing, they were lucky," Durmisi jokingly recalled.

A move to La Liga came at the right time for the defender and he said at the time: "It's a great step in my career. I need to grow and that is why I came here. It's the right move for me. I'm a young player and I'm hungry. I want to prove that I can play in this team because I know the step from Denmark to Spain is huge."

Durmisi immediately earned a regular place in Betis' starting XI but a knee problem forced him to sit out seven league games. "I think people are going to be surprised when I'm at 100 percent because I know I can do better," he said.

He is a regular for Denmark

Having played at every youth level since the Under-16 squad for Denmark, Durmisi told then Denmark coach Morten Olsen that he would play for FYR Macedonia if he were not selected to the senior team.

"I felt I was ready," Durmisi said. "The national team wasn't playing well and I felt I could help. "Morten said I was mad and I agreed. But since I made my debut, I've played since."

Durmisi made his senior bow after coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 friendly win over Montenegro on June 8, 2015. He played the final seven games of Olsen's spell as Denmark coach and has been a regular under Olsen's successor, Age Hareide.

He is a defender that wants to attack

Durmisi has a natural inclination to attack and is given freedom to push forward down the flank. His pace often allows him to recover quickly in defence, despite his often advanced starting position, and his pass completion rate for the current La Liga season stands at 76 percent.

He is not a big player, at only 5-foot-6, but is tenacious and aggressive enough to impose himself against larger opponents players. However, he is often at a disadvantage with his aerial challenges and also struggles with man marking: Of the 21 challenges he has made in 12 La Liga games this season, 12 have proved successful.

"When I was young, I played as a striker and I scored lots of goals," he said. "Perhaps that is why I'm not as good at the defensive end. But I like to go forward."

He's a fan of Real Madrid and Marcelo

A Real Madrid fan growing up, Durmisi was a fan of former Real midfielder and current coach Zinedine Zidane. He has been likened to Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba in style but admits to being a big admirer of Real's Brazilian left-back Marcelo.

Liverpool fans may not want to hear it, but he has also expressed his desire to play at the Bernabeu one day.

"To play for Real Madrid is a dream of mine," Durmisi said. "Everyone wants to go there. Who knows, maybe one day I will get the chance to go there. When I was young, I loved to watch Zidane play because he was excellent. Everyone used to tell me that I play like [Barcelona's] Jordi Alba but I like Marcelo. I like the way he plays."