Sunday 20 August 2017

Liverpool the complete article, claims confident director of football

LIVERPOOL’S director of football Damien Comolli believes the current squad is so "complete" there are not currently areas under review for improvement.

In a summer of change at Anfield manager Kenny Dalglish brought in seven new players and offloaded most of the deadwood which had accumulated over the last couple of years.



Owners Fenway Sports Group' net spend in the two transfer windows since assuming control last October is around £45million.



It was felt such expenditure was required in order to give the club the best possible chance of quickly turning around their dip in fortunes after seventh and sixth-place league finishes and regaining Champions League status.



Certainly the recruitment of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in January and Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson, Sebastian Coates, Craig Bellamy and Doni over the summer has made the Reds stronger in all areas.



And Comolli said now was the time to assess the new signings and see how the squad operates as a whole.



"We want to see how we're going to do," said the Frenchman.



"We are very pleased with what we've done during this window and the previous one as well.



"For me it's like a big window from January until August 31 and in total we brought in nine players, we changed the team and changed the squad, so it's the time to reflect.



"To be honest I would really struggle to say we need something there or something there because I think we have such a complete squad at the moment.



"Let's see how those players develop, how they gel together, how the young players like Sebastian Coates adapts, and then we can make a decision (on areas to strengthen) later."



While there was a need to make significant changes to arrest the decline of the last two seasons Comolli pointed out the recruitment policy was part of a long-term strategy and not just a quick fix.



All but the 32-year-old Craig Bellamy of the nine players signed under Dalglish are aged 27 or under.



"It's not a work for one season, it's a work for two, three, four seasons, especially when you are investing in young players, as we've done," said the director of football.



"Hopefully we'll reflect back on the summer of 2011 - which was crucial, we knew that - and then we'll be happy with the work we've done."



While the departures of the likes of Christian Poulsen, Joe Cole and David Ngog was expected the late transfer of Raul Meireles to Chelsea minutes before the deadline closed came as something of a surprise.



The Portugal international, who was at Anfield only 12 months, has since claimed he had not planned on leaving and was told he had to hand in a written transfer request after hearing of the Londoners' interest.



Liverpool, for their part, were not planning to sell him but when the situation arose with the end of the window looming both there was an agreement reached which suited both parties.



"Basically he came to see me and said 'I want to leave, I want to play for another club'," Comolli told liverpoolfc.tv.



"Our intention was not to sell him but we were put in a corner a little bit when he put in a transfer request and said he wanted to go and that he didn't want to play for Liverpool any more.



"I think the owners and Kenny have said it, and we all have the same view. When someone doesn't want to be here it's difficult to say 'You are going to stay'.



"We've been through that process in January with Fernando Torres (who also went to Chelsea) and this felt like the same situation.



"We think it was the right thing to do for the club, because it's very difficult to have somebody here who doesn't want to be here.



"The job of the manager in the Premier League is already difficult having to manage 25 players and only having 11 to start on a match day, so you have to deal with all the others.



"If you have someone who is adamant they don't want to be here and wants to play for someone else we took the view it's better if he goes and we get the best possible deal for the club.



"In the end I think we did well."



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