Monday, 13 June 2011

Invigorating pre-season for Kopites as Dalglish and Comolli look to the future

Kenny Dalglish made the first big signing of the close season last week by bringing ex Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson to Anfield.  Now, I’ve got to be honest, I know very little about this player. 

I don’t even know, for instance, whether he is principally a defensive or attacking midfielder. 

The Liverpool team which last made a serious attempt at the title had two members who have never been adequately replaced.  There was silk – the peerless passing ability of Xabi Alonse – and steel - from the rugged Argentinian Javier Mascherano.

I suppose it’s too much to hope that a 20 year old could immediately fill the shoes of either man.  But although critics will imply that £20 million is too high a price for an unproven player, Liverpool’s new owners, the FSG group, have made it clear that they are prepared to spend big wherever they see potential.  Damien Comolli, the director of football, has been charged with overseeing recruitment.  

Their strategy is unlikely to be successful in every instance, but it is a hugely refreshing transfer policy.  Kenny Dalglish is the right man to take charge of matters on the field and bring out the best in his young charges.

It is rumoured that Liverpool will announce more high profile signings this week, two of whom also operate in the centre of the park.  It might seem like the club is currently loaded down with players in that department, but some of the less convincing midfielders from recent times will surely soon make way to accommodate brighter prospects.  Expect Poulsen, Cole and Aquilani to head for the exit

There also remains a doubt about the capacity of Steven Gerrard to see out a full season injury free, at the same intensity which drove Liverpool to a Champions League triumph 6 years ago.  An influx of fresh midfield talent can ease the pressure on the captain.   

In Dalglish, Liverpool may have reappointed an illustrious figure from their past as the new manager, but in league with a progressive ownership team, the club is looking to the future.  It's a high stakes gamble, but time will tell whether it will bring rewards.  In the interim Kopites can expect an invigorating pre-season.

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