It felt like Brendan Rodgers was cheated last summer. He was left without a striker to backup Luis Suarez, and hat to wait till January and make it through a very rough start in order to see his team play to its full potential, although still lacking the consistency of those who look to finish in the top 4 of the Premier League.
Barring any sudden departures (Luis Suarez), Liverpool are entering the 2013 summer and transfer period as a much healthier and better squad, with a lot less question marks than they had last season. It’s hard not to think of a position that could use an upgrade, but that’s only when you compare Liverpool with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. It might be painful to admit, but Liverpool haven’t belonged in that “club” in four seasons.
Rodgers won’t get an open bank account to spend on new players. That’s been made clear more than once; Liverpool owners and directors want the club to be self-sustaining, and that doesn’t happen, especially without any Champions League football, if you spend the kind of money they did during their first 12 months at the job (Suarez, Carroll, Downing, Henderson, Charlie Adam).
Yet it’s not about the price you pay, but the quality and speed you conduct your business in. Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge have done quite well in the three months since they’ve arrived, giving Liverpool not only more depth and quality in their squad, but youth and a future to look forward to, especially in the attack.
So when Rodgers talks about improving the squad, he’s not talking about bringing up talents from the youth team. He’s talking about signings, some of them less than conventional, in order to thrive in his system, which might not be the most conventional in the world as well, taking quite some time before the players got used to it. Again, making the right choice is as important as making a quick one, before more sharks smell the blood in the water and the price gets out of hand.
The club respect where we need to strengthen and where we need to improve. We have seen from the last window in January, we got our business done early and brought in two outstanding players in Sturridge and Coutinho. Hopefully we will have a similar impact in the summer. If we can do that, it will make me really happy with the group going forward.
I just think we need a bit more depth and a bit more quality. The players this year have done very well. I have asked everything of them and, in the main, they have done very well. The majority of the time, there have not been too many performances where I have been really disappointed.