Promising young players coming through the ranks at Anfield.
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Roy Hodgson has insisted the young reserves who have helped Liverpool progress seamlessly in Europe this season have done enough to prove he does not need a major influx of signings in the January transfer window.
“In an ideal world we would still strengthen our squad in terms of senior players,” he said. “I think it is going to be pretty harsh to give the Pachecos, Kellys and Wilsons of this world a long run of games. At their age they would find it hard to cope with that.
“But the game in Bucharest gives me more confidence we can face up to a long, hard season. What it does too is hopefully mean the new owners and myself do not have to panic and go out and add numbers to the squad just for the sake of doing so in January.
“It will give us that calmness to say ‘look, if we cannot get the quality and type of player we really want, then let’s keep the faith in some of these young ones and wait for the right type to come along’.
“If the European campaign had gone badly and we had not picked up a few more points lately, then we could have been looking at the transfer window and saying we have really got to get some more players in because the squad is too thin. Now I think we’d say ’yes, we would like some new ones with experience, we would like to improve the squad, but let’s make sure we get the right guys’.” (Daily Telegraph)
This is quite a sensible approach from Roy Hodgson.
The Liverpool manager recognises that his squad needs new signings, but the performances of his young players so far indicates that should the right players not be available at the right price, he has better squad depth than first appeared.
Still, while Liverpool have a decent crop of youth players, they don’t yet seem ready to be Premier League starters – and Hodgson needs someone to unlock defences when Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres get injured.
So far, that hasn’t been Joe Cole, but perhaps it will be with more time.
The only trouble is, Liverpool don’t have a huge amount of time to improve to secure a European place before the season’s end.
This is the reason Liverpool are continually linked with players such as Eden Hazard and Gervinho, with Roy Hodgson personally flying to France to watch them in action.
However, if some of the youngsters do end up being thrown in at the deep end, they will have to learn to swim pretty quickly indeed…
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