Liverpool’s transfer policy has received a lot of criticism this season. After finishing second last season, with Champions League to offer, a lot of ambition was expected to be shown in the transfer market. Instead, the Reds went for young talents who have the potential to be world-class in some years. With Luis Suarez gone and Daniel Sturridge injured, Liverpool have really struggled for goals and inspiration up-front. Questions have naturally been asked about the club’s “transfer committee” and it seems that Brendan Rodgers is also frustrated that his side is unable to land big marquee names. He is also aware that the pressure to replace Gerrard will only intensify the scrutiny of the club’s transfer activity.
“Last season, after nearly winning the league and qualifying for the Champions League and playing a game that excited people, we were in a great position to attract a high level of player,” Rodgers said.
“We have to believe that the status of this club and the idea that the club moving forward will make players still want to come here. The team has changed and the players have changed but the great name of Liverpool is still the same. For a lot of players it’s two things – game time and money, simple as that. That’s the way of the modern game – how often are they going to play and money that they’ll earn.
“There are cases when players will forfeit the financial side to come to a project that they feel they can play a big part in. It’s difficult of course because players will opt, for whatever reason, to go elsewhere. Some may prefer to go to Spain, some to London. But you just have to keep working and finding the players who can make you the best you can be.
“There have been some outstanding players who have come but there is no doubt that we need to replace them either through some of our young players getting an opportunity or our players stepping up to the mark, but also bringing in that quality. Time will tell on that.
“Over the last couple of years some of our top players have gone. I want to work with that elite level of player, as a coach and a manager. I enjoy working equally with the stars and world-class talent as I do with young players. This is Liverpool. We have to be in the running for the world’s best.”
Liverpool summer targets, Wilfried Bony and Victor Valdés, are all set to join Manchester City and Manchester United (Valdes has officially been signed by United).
The requirements of Financial Fair Play are impacting the Reds and how they utilize their resources.
“The ruling has meant that clubs have had to look at things strategically, no question,” Rodgers said.
“There are other factors that come into it as well – how owners want to work and how they want to run the club. The owners here have been brilliant in my short period of time as manager and in the period before that in terms of how they have set up to run the club.
“They have done a magnificent job of pulling the club around and getting it moving forward again. There is always a bigger picture. The owners want to invest in the team and have made a commitment to do that. It’s then about getting those players over the line and that is something we will strive to do.
“I know the reality of the situation here, it is not a surprise to me. I know what I am dealing with but we have to strive to be the best no matter what is happening with other teams.
“Hopefully we showed that progress was being made until the summer. We have obviously lost players and brought a lot in which requires an adaptation period but I’ve great confidence that what we are doing is the right way to work. We just need to prove that.”
Liverpool’s summer activity this year will definitely depend on where they finish the season. But if Manchester United showed the world something last year is that you don’t necessarily need Champions League to attract top-class talent. The Reds owners and management must try harder to land marquee players as they don’t want to wait two or three years before reaping the rewards of spending heavily on raw talents.