Must read interview, Liverpool fans…
Brendan Rodgers has discussed how Liverpool will deal with the departure of Steven Gerrard, and has admitted that the deluge of quality internationals to have left Anfield since his arrival has been difficult…
“There is no doubt Steven moving on leaves a void on and off the pitch but the club has to keep moving forward to bring in the best players we can to this wonderful football club,” Rodgers said, reported in the Guardian.
“We need to replace that quality either through some of our young players getting an opportunity or our players stepping up to the mark but also by bringing in that quality. Time will tell on that. It has been difficult and over the last couple of years some of our top players have gone out, Jamie Carragher in the first year, Pepe Reina and Luis Suárez. No one knows that more than me. For a manager it is very difficult because these players have been outstanding but you need a plan in place to replace that quality. We as a football club will expect that quality and must have it going forward. This is Liverpool, we have to be in the running for the world’s best.”
Rodgers’ admission that replacing Gerrard might be done with younger players already in the squad will no doubt frustrate fans who were hoping a marquee signing would be brought in to ease the pain of our skipper’s exit.
The likes of Ross Barkley, Moussa Sissoko and Sami Khedira have been linked, but the genuine chances of us splashing out £40-odd million for a central midfielder seem slim, based on our recent behaviour in the transfer market.
“We have to believe it [big-name signings] can be done,” Rodgers continued…
“Last summer, after nearly winning the league, qualifying for the Champions League and playing a game that excited people, we were in a great position to attract a level of player. But we have to believe that the status of this club and the idea that the club is moving forward will make players still want to come. Players change but the great name of Liverpool is still the same and hopefully come the end of the season we will be in the Champions League having won something as well.”
One player consistently linked, and who seems pretty realistic as a target is Manchester City’s James Milner. The Englishman is available on a Bosman free transfer right now, and would add a hard-working, experienced and versatile option to the squad.
“James is a wonderful player and has always been a talented player but players are consistently linked here through agents to get a better deal at another club,” Rodgers claimed.
So far this January, we’ve not yet made a move for anybody – but are expected to sign a keeper at the very least following the abject performances by Simon Mignolet and understudy Brad Jones so far. Milner’s arrival will likely come in the summer, but in order to save this campaign, fans would like us to bring in at least one established player before February.