Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken about adding to his squad for next season and insisted that he is looking for ‘multi-dimensional’ players.
Speaking to journalists following the Reds’ 4-0 win in a post-season friendly over Shamrock Rovers on Wednesday night, the Liverpool boss elaborated on his vision for potential recruits in the summer market.
“Our criteria that we look for is players with strong technique and football intelligence,” said the 41-year-old.
“They need to mentally have the attitude and the capacity to learn. And they have to be so hungry to fight for every ball on every day in training and in the game.
“You’ll get some players who are specialists and who need to play in particular positions, but if we can get players in who are multi-functional, and can play in different roles and are multi-dimensional in their work, it sets us up and gives me more options as a coach.”
Flexibility is something that has been an important part of the Liverpool team during the 2013/14 season. Rodgers tinkered with the formation a lot of times to suit his side’s interest and was appreciated for the flexibility in approach shown by him. The Reds played with the 3-5-2 formation initially and then juggled with the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 diamond formation.
Rodgers insisted that players who would be able to play in a variety of positions will be vital if his team is to progress on all fronts next season – and that will effect his strategy for summer signings.
“We’ve developed tactically over the last couple of years. Our style has been the same, but the structure of the team has changed a number of times in order to fit the needs of the games and to give problems to the opponent.
“In order to do that, you need players with the capacity to be tactically intelligent. It also allows you to keep your squad smaller and tighter.
“Like you saw against Shamrock – Jordon Ibe is a young player, 18 years of age. We’re coaching and developing him. He’s been a wide player traditionally in a 4-3-3, but he came in for the second half and played at the top of a diamond. And he showed wonderful intelligence and quality, technically and tactically, to play.”
Liverpool have so far been targeted with a number of players but the signing they’re reported to be looking to complete before the World Cup begins is of Southampton skipper Adam Lallana. The Saints midfielder has had quite an emphatic season and was included in the PFA Team of the year. Lallana would reportedly cost Liverpool a sum in the region of 20- 25 million pounds. The midfielder has proven himself in the Premier League. Lallana can play the role of a central midfielder- someone who dominates the heart of the pitch and help start attacks; the central attacking midfielder/playmaker/number 10 role and is also comfortable on the wings. His versatility must have been a definite factor in Rodgers’s interest in acquiring him. Reports suggest that the signing is imminent.