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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Liverpool managing director Ayre claims club has 'best balance' in league

Published 16/01/2013 | 12:40

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MANAGING director Ian Ayre believes Liverpool have the best balance of any team in the Barclays Premier League.

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Ayre cited the mix of club stalwarts Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, world-class stars like Luis Suarez and rising young talents including Raheem Sterling.



Liverpool again seem unlikely to break into the Champions League places this season, with Brendan Rodgers' side currently lying eighth in the table, nine points adrift of the top four.



The Reds' relative lack of success on the field has prompted speculation about the future of some of their big-name players and Ayre told the Liverpool Echo: "Of course we have to progress to be able to hang on to our world-class talent.



"You need to have a mix in your squad and we have probably got the best balance in terms of any team in the league.



"We've got people who understand what this club really means and have enjoyed success here. We've got young players breaking through, learning and getting experience from them.



"Then we've got international players like Luis Suarez who could be playing anywhere in the world - but he's playing at Liverpool FC.



"We will continue to add to the group and improve it. Daniel Sturridge signed recently and has made an immediate impact.



"We may or may not add to that further before the end of January. That's something we're still working on and considering. We will only buy when the right deal is there at the right time."



Sturridge became the first big mover of the January transfer window when he left Chelsea to join Liverpool for a fee believed to be around £12million.



Buying the 23-year-old fitted with the Reds' policy of recruiting players under 24, but Ayre insists older players are not off limits if they would be a good fit for the club.



He said: "It's not a policy which is set in stone but it's an aspiration. If we feel there's a particular position or player who can contribute to the group and is over that sort of age limit, it doesn't mean we won't consider that player."



The focus on young players played a part in Rodgers being left extremely short of strikers in the first half of the season after the club declined to meet the asking price for Fulham's Clint Dempsey, who eventually went to Tottenham.



Andy Carroll had already been loaned to West Ham and, when Fabio Borini broke his foot in September, the striking burden fell solely on the shoulders of Suarez.



Ayre insists the club made the right choice, saying: "People may feel they want to criticise the fact we didn't have an additional striker.



"But at what price would you sacrifice spending for something that is not in the long-term interests of the club versus what we just did, which was getting a great price on a great player in Daniel Sturridge?



"It may have left us short, but the pieces just did not come together. We've come through that period now. I still feel it was the right decision."



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