Brendan Rodgers wants three new quality Liverpool signings
LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers wants to add ‘three or four players’ to his squad this summer as part of his next phase of rebuilding. Rodgers says he will compile a list of three transfer targets for every key position in need of reinforcement and avoid a repeat of last summer’s costly transfer window.
Liverpool were left without striking support for Luis Suárez when all the focus shifted to recruiting Clint Dempsey. Rodgers wanted to make a more through assessment of Daniel Sturridge before agreeing a permanent deal – a £12 million signing he was more comfortable with in January.
The contrast with the last, productive transfer window has seen recent form transformed into Champions League qualification standard, but Liverpool still find themselves with too much to do after conceding so many points in those early months.
Rodgers believes he needs two quality players for each position, and says additions of similar class to Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho will make Liverpool more competitive next season.
“There is no doubt there is a natural rebuilding that will come with the likes of Jamie Carragher retiring. I am happy with the squad if I can then put another three or four quality players to it,” said Rodgers.
“It is quality we are after, not quantity. We see Coutinho and Sturridge's quality in January, if we bring in another three or four players of that quality and add that to what we have got then we have got a strong squad.
“You want between 20 and 22 players. I'm talking about two in every position and your three goalkeepers. Then below that having young players who can support that.
“Of course you have an ideal target, but we are getting to a situation now where, for me, you have to have three players and if one doesn't come off you have to be comfortable with the other two. If you get one of those you are happy. There is a lot of terrific work going on with the scouting department getting those lists together.
“We never had that in the summer but there were some key positions we needed support in and what I didn't want to do was waste the club's money. I like to be extensive and know what we are bringing in, but also we did not have the time and that was the big issue. We are much better placed now. There is great collaboration that goes on between all the departments. January was a productive window for us and hopefully if we do the similar in the summer then it's going to be a real good place for us.”
Rodgers will consider sending youngsters such as Suso – a fixture in the line-up six months ago – on loan to gather more experience.
Last week, Rodgers gave Raheem Sterling a week off as he wants him to use the next few months to refresh himself in preparation for the start of next season.
Unless Liverpool can somehow complete a late surge into the top four, Rodgers’ transfer kitty will again be around the £20 million mark unless he raises more via sales, the inevitable consequence of missing out on the Champions League in testing financial times. His obvious priority is two centre halves to replace Carragher and the out-of-favour Martin Skrtel.
“I have had a real good year with the young players to assess where they are at with their development,” said Rodgers. “Suso has clearly shown he has been a very good cover player for us this season, the longer plan for him we have to have a look. Does he actually have to go and play somewhere for a year and get experience?
Does he need to show he can go and get goals and create goals and then we know what we have? Raheem has shown he can play at this level, but I gave him a week off to get away from football mentally and physically. If the young players are good enough they will be involved in the squad, but I have to look at the individual plan to see if they can be here.
“Obviously, there might be people who aren't playing who might want to think about going elsewhere, but at the moment it's a strong squad.”
- Chris Bascombe, Telegraph.co.uk