At first look, this Joe Allen transfer is bound to fail. A young central midfielder, just like Jordan Henderson was last season, just a bit cheaper. Still, £15 million isn’t cheap, especially during these times, not matter how rich the owners are. But maybe Brendan Rodgers knows what he’s doing.
After promising Swansea he won’t be signing any of their players, Rodgers spent half the summer trying to get Allen, 22 and Welsh, hoping to get a player to upgrade the Liverpool midfield which consists of Jordan Henderson who cost £20 million last season but has yet to put in more than 2-3 impressive outings; Lucas Leiva who’s coming back from nearly a season of injury; Jonjo Shelvey, who never seems to get the chance he might deserve; Charlie Adam, who Liverpool seem to regret signing each and every minute; And Steven Gerrard.
But Rodgers, like every manager who arrives at a new club, Rodgers is trying to make some changes. Not too many, so far he brought in just two players. Fabio Borini from Roma along with Allen, his former player with Swansea. But it looks like Rodgers is cleaning the stables, or at least making it very clear that he isn’t very pleased with everything that Dalglish brought to the club, except for Luis Suarez. This is his team, his style, with Henderson, Carroll and Adam planned to be on the bench.
Playing fast, moving the ball fast, that’s the name of the game. Kenny Dalglish wanted for that to happen, but it just didn’t work. Liverpool, despite the League Cup and the return to Europe, had a terrible season. One of their worst in the Premier League era, with a horrendous 2012. Instead of doing a complete makeover, Rodgers is taking his time, with careful piecing of his new parts.
Rodgers will be under more pressure than Dalglish. No legendary kind of resume to hide behind after every disappointment. But he’s confident that his ways will prevail, and finally put this team on the right track after three disappointing seasons of a fast decline, with Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish. Is Joe Allen such a significant piece in the puzzle that is the new Liverpool, the team that’s supposed to challenge for titles in the very near future? Rodgers thinks so, and he’s willing to gamble his job and £15 million of his owners money for it.