Sunday 28 December 2014

Rodgers keen to add quality in bid to rejoin Europe's elite

Chris Bascombe

Published 05/04/2013 | 05:00

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the recent signings of Phillipe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge will be the template for his summer transfer activity as he looks to bridge the gap to Champions League clubs.

Rodgers believes the difficulties at the start to the season when Liverpool had some inconsistent results have been overcome. But he admits there is still some way to go before the club can get back to being regular competitors in the Champions League.

The key for Rodgers is buying finished products of the calibre of Coutinho and Sturridge.

"We've seen the benefits of that in January where we were able to move quickly and bring in players of the quality of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho," Rodgers said. "The idea will be the same for the summer window and if we can do that we're going to be in a great position at the start of the next season because there's no doubt we need to grow and build the group.

"I have been to see some Champions League games recently and you look at some of the those squads and realise you have a bit to do. But one of the reasons we're here is that we're confident that if we can keep chipping away and developing then hopefully we'll arrive at where we want to be."

obstacles

Rodgers looks back at the start of his Anfield reign and acknowledges the initial obstacles that had to be overcome. He did not have all his technical and back-room staff in place until after the August transfer window closed, and the loss of experienced players unbalanced the squad. "Last summer was a difficult one for everyone," he said.

"It must have been tough. They had lost a manager (in Kenny Dalglish) who is a legend here and always will be. They were naturally wondering what was going to happen. And you've also got to remember that this is a club that four years ago was in a lot of debt. I was a young manager coming in fully aware that while the debt is not at that level now, there was still a debt that needed to be managed.

"At the same time you want to give supporters the hope and commitment that we can progress. So it was always going to be difficult in the beginning but now we're in a good place. There's a good scouting process in place and everyone's aligned with the processes in order to get players in."

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott may feature in Arsenal's Premier League clash with Norwich tomorow week.

Wilshere has been out since the 2-1 defeat by Tottenham on March 3 because of an ankle problem.

Walcott has been sidelined since incurring a hip/thigh injury while on England duty in the build-up to last month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro. The pair will miss tomorrow's trip to West Brom. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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