By Brian Reece
Liverpool’s Transfer policy has been subject to praise & criticism over the past few months, but lets look into the benefits and downfalls this can bring.
Firstly buying young, talented British players can only benefit Liverpool and the national teams in the long term, players like Kelly, Flanagan, Spearing, Henderson, Downing, Carroll and Adam will provide the backbone of the team, when current players like Gerrard, Kuyt and Carragher have gone, but buying all British will not be best decision short term, Liverpool’s transfer policy is a good one long term, but currently we will need to inject a mixture of some slightly older more experienced players either from overseas or Britain, it matters little, but who can give the younger players time to develop and will keep Liverpool in contention with the other top clubs.
We currently have some fantastic young foreign players such as Suarez and Lucas, who have adapted to the fast pace of the Premier League, I can understand FSG position on transfers such as Age, Characteristics and Re-Sale Value, but that should not just be specifiably aimed at British players only, if we are to maintain a consent presence in the top four and Champions League then a balanced mixture must be maintained, personally I don’t have a problem with a strong British presence in the team, its good for Liverpool and will only make us a better team.
As we have seen, clubs are charging overinflated prices for young British talent and it seems that teams like Liverpool have shown they are prepared to pay theses prices, it is simply impossible to judge if these players will be worth the initial outlay, we don’t know if Henderson will be a great player or that Carroll will live up to the price tag, admittedly it is not the players fault and there is a strong argument that we could have brought better overseas, but then it contradicts the transfer policy installed by FSG.
What is needed is a transfer policy that searches for the best of British talent while still maintaining a balance of experience and youth, overseas and home grown players, and still leaves scope for the younger players to get experience and develop, the pending problem may come from signings both British and foreign who don’t make an impact or fall short of exceptions, if Carroll disappoints which I hope he doesn’t, who is going to pay £30m plus for him in a year or two, Henderson fails to break into the first team on a regular basis, who will pay £20m for him, the buy British policy is good when it works but what will happen when it fails.
Another important aspect of the current transfer policy is what happens when we qualify for Europe, and have extra revenue to spend on quality players who want top flight European football but who are foreign, we will still maintain the same stance on transfers, or will we go and get the cream of Europe, initially I believe the current policy is right, but when we do get a Champions League place we need to re-evaluate the situation and act quickly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a British backbone to the team, but we have to mix it up to maintain balance and team performance.
To have a great squad means diversity, and its not always going to be a British player who can fill that gap, would you prefer Robert Green to Pepe Reina, no of course you wouldn’t, neither would you want Ribery instead Gerrard, so balance in the team can be achieved with the current transfer policy in place, but not at the expense of performance or progression.
Every successful team has a good squad with competition for places, and Liverpool must be no different, this is where the buy British policy could make a terrific impact and prepare the team for the future, but it has to be done by making the right choice now, pushing the policy to early could have a reverse affect and push the club backwards rather then towards its goals, FSG are experienced in developing winners, and am sure they are plotting Liverpool’s return to the pinnacle of Europe’s best, but lets not disregard talent for passports.