Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool’s manager, is part of a transfer committee that includes scouts Dave Fallows and Barry Hunter, board members Ian Ayre and Mike Gordon and director of technical performance Michael Edwards.
Rodgers has the ‘final say’, according to an article in the Echo from early July, but the same article suggests that often there’s disagreements – and that Rodgers gets pushback from his colleagues on particular targets, and pushes back on some himself before being won over.
Tony Barrett of the Times (cited in the Echo) has named five signings Rodgers definitely wanted, and four that were ‘committee targets’ rather than players our manager specifically wanted.
Brendan Rodgers signings:
Nathaniel Clyne (£12m), Adam Lallana (£25m), James Milner (Free), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Christian Benteke (£32.5m)
Transfer committee signings:
Mamadou Sakho (£18m), Lazar Markovic (£20m), Alberto Moreno (£12m), Divock Origi (£10m)
And it’s clear that Rodgers gives more backing, support and chances to ‘his’ signings. All five of the mentioned players he brought in started versus Stoke, while tellingly, none of the above committee signings played a single minute.
What’s even more noticeable is that Rodgers signings come from the Premier League.
In many ways this is understandable considering the football he pays closest attention to, but is also slightly narrow minded. These five players cost a combined £92m – which is undeniably very expensive for a group in which only one had ever played Champions League football before joining us in James Milner (and he was free!).
Sakho and Markovic have not been given fair chances at Liverpool, while Moreno was dropped for 18-year-old Joe Gomez for this season’s opener. Having just joined, we’re yet to see what opportunities Origi will get.
Barrett’s news and Rodgers’ early team selections does give an indication as to which players we can expect to start more games this term.
Let’s hope that the side is solely selected on merit though, regardless of which party pushed an arrival.
It’s vital that Rodgers’ team selections aren’t based on proving himself right and the committee wrong, and only on winning matches.