Now after all the dust of the so called “transitional” season for Brendan Rodgers has died down, the real work of planning his assault on the top four can begin.
The framework is all in place for Liverpool to embark on another footballing dynasty, with the philosophy of installing young players well established, as well as prudent spending taking precedence over careless outlays.
Liverpool has the massive fan base. They have the committed owners. They play an attractive, attacking game. They have the stadium expansion plans in place to turn Anfield into a 60,000-seat boisterous, red cauldron. Everything points towards a bright future for the club.
Provided Rodgers gets it right in the upcoming transfer window, of course.
It’s no secret that Rodgers’ first dabble into the transfer market ended in disappointment with the ineffective Fabio Borini and staggeringly average Joe Allen being purchased. Similar mistakes will not be tolerated this year, not by the fans and certainly not by the board.
Unfortunately, similar mistakes may already be happening if the media is to be believed and Rodgers has actually approached Kolo Toure as cover for the retired Jamie Carragher. A considerably risky move, it must be said, seeing as Toure has hardly played this year.
However, Rodgers did have a successful transfer window last January and will need to repeat that success if he’s going to crack the top four. The coffers will still be relatively limited for Rodgers this summer, yet the sales of Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll will instantly swell the funds available to around the £35-40 million mark.
More sales could follow with the departure of Sebastian Coates, something which could prove potentially divisive among players and fans as the Uruguayan is held in high regard by his fellow professionals Lucas Leiva and Luis Suarez. Coates’ sale would possibly generate the majority of the £7 million paid for him in 2011, and could be seen as a way of offsetting some of the £12 million fee Liverpool reportedly want to pay for center back Kyriakos Papadoupoulous from Schalke.
Provided Rodgers doesn’t have to fund a move for a Suarez replacement, he can afford to be more analytical with his choice of reinforcements. A quality creative midfielder, left back, goalkeeper and a center back have to be the priorities and provided Rodgers gets it right, that will take up his entire transfer kitty.
Should Liverpool be able to add some much-needed steel to their defense and restore the solid spine of the team then these reinforcements, coupled with the exciting front line already at the club, will ensure the reds have a stronger squad than Tottenham and Arsenal.
There can be no excuses next year. It’s make or break for Rodgers.