Thursday 21 November 2019

Liverpool don't need big overhaul in summer, says Clarke

Carl Markham

Liverpool coach Steve Clarke believes suggestions the squad needs a major overhaul in the summer are wide of the mark.

Some reports have claimed the post-season clear-out could stretch into double figures, with a similar number coming in, but the Scot does not reckon it will require as much surgery as that.

Clarke has been a key figure in the team's turnaround since arriving in January with manager Kenny Dalglish. His influence has not gone unnoticed and the improvement has indicated that the players are not as bad as was implied in Roy Hodgson's disappointing six-month reign.

"We have a decent squad here, a lot of good players who have shown that for us," he said. "If we can find two or three players that can add to the squad then that is what we should do.

"If we can't find the right players to improve us at the right time then I think we have enough to keep us moving forward. We've also got the young players coming through -- that has been a big plus this season. If we can continue with the nucleus of the established players we have and keep adding one or two kids..."

Only defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos is out of contract this summer but Dalglish has bigger decisions to make in terms of a number of high-earning fringe players and several currently out on loan.

Owners Fenway Sports Group appear set to back the manager in the transfer market, having given him a three-year contract last week, but the more money the Reds boss can generate from sales the greater his options will be.

Dalglish's priorities are at least one winger, a left-back and a centre-back but arrivals for other positions are still a possibility.

Clarke is confident Liverpool will be able to mount a challenge for a Champions League spot next season.

"I think we have shown a good working relationship," Clarke said of the job he, Dalglish and assistant manager Sammy Lee have done in lifting the club from 12th to sixth.

"The club feels it is on an upward curve. If we can build on what we can achieve in the short spell things will be brighter in the future. I would have been happy (to be in Europa League contention) but when I came here I saw how achievable it was to get into the top six."

Irish Independent

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