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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Dalglish demands Reds splash cash in summer

Chris Brereton

Interim Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the influx of talented academy players into his first-team thoughts should not stop the club from scouring for new talent in the summer.

Dalglish has overseen an improvement in fortunes at Anfield since he replaced Roy Hodgson in January but the most satisfying aspect for the Scot, and the supporters, has to be the emergence of a crop of young players who seem capable of taking the club forward.

This season, Jay Spearing and Martin Kelly, aged 22 and 20 respectively, have cemented their places in the Liverpool squad and the impressive displays of teenagers John Flanagan and Jack Robinson in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal has further boosted the sense of optimism on Merseyside.

Dalglish has long been a vocal champion of Liverpool's academy, yet he stressed that although his side now has youth on its side, that should not close Liverpool off to the possibility of strengthening.

"Every football club after May knows where they stand," he said. "You know what you need and there's always going to be business done by all clubs. The better the business, the more successful the club is going to be.

"If you do good business, you've more chance of being successful. That just doesn't mean buying players and letting players go, it's about developing what else you have.

"This summer is going to be very important, not just for Liverpool, but every football club. And the better decisions you make, the better business you do, the better chance you have of setting yourself up for next season.

"It's important that there is room for development for players, but it's also important that you don't use it as an excuse not to spend money and not improve what you've already got."

However, despite money being available to purchase new players should Liverpool choose to do so, Dalglish maintains that frivolous spending is not on the club's agenda, insisting he is happy with the calibre of Liverpool's young players.

"Age does not determine their ability to play," he added. "So if we're convinced we have young players who are maybe better than what's available, then we'll keep our younger players. There's no two ways about it.

"But that does not say we don't want to improve as a football club in any way, shape or form. But we do need to leave some path open if we do think there are players who can come in.

"If they develop then fine, if they don't, we've got a problem. But if you buy a player in and he doesn't produce, you've got a bigger problem."

Perhaps Dalglish's greatest achievement has been to galvanise and unite a club that had seemed to be doing its best to implode over recent previous seasons.

The boardroom disputes, managerial unrest and fan disenchantment that have so characterised and coloured the immediate past are no more, yet Dalglish is experienced enough to know that the long journey of returning Liverpool to the summit is only on its first step.

"I think the best phrase is 'work in progress'," he added. "For everybody, the owners and the football side of it. I don't think it would be right to judge anything at this moment in time. We have to wait a while and see what happens in a year or two. It's positive work in progress." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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