Brendan Rodgers bemoans Alexis Sanchez transfer snub, who chose to join Arsenal rather than Liverpool…
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted the Alexis Sanchez transfer snub his club suffered earlier this season is still holding him back.
The Reds boss was desperate to land the Chilean during the summer transfer window, with the now Arsenal man earmarked to replace Luis Suarez, who joined Sanchez’s former club Barcelona.
“Not to get him was obviously bitterly disappointing, because he was identified for us as someone who would have been a key signing and really just a roll-on to what we had with Luis Suarez,” Rodgers admitted this week.
The loss of Suarez has proved crucial, and has led to a difficult start to the season for Rodgers, who explained: “If you look at how I ask the teams to play, it is critical. Not just with the ball but the intensity with the pressing.
“When Daniel Sturridge was injured in August, I think everyone who knows football should hopefully be able to see that our game has become much deeper because of personnel.”
“Having that pace in the central area of the field… first of all it allows you to press and it means that your game can be much more aggressive. You press the ball in the high areas of the field.”
Rodgers continued to explain why his team have struggled to live up to the standards they reached last season, as a result of their personnel changes: “It gives you more chances of a goal if you are winning it higher up the field.
“You are going to create more chances and the types of players I have – the technical players – they then have the skills to deal with the ball in tight areas, so we haven’t had that.
“We brought in Balotelli, who has had an opportunity to play in that role but that isn’t his game. Big Rickie has come in and he was brought here for a reason and a purpose and he has great qualities but that isn’t what he does.
“When you don’t have that and press high up the field, then your starting position is much deeper, you become much deeper in the field and then it works the other way in transition.
“You cannot then break at breakneck speed and flood forward like we did last year because we are not that explosive.”