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Wednesday, 06 March 2013

Liverpool: Can Brendan Rodgers be trusted with money?

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Sqf DDisciascio

Brendan Rodgers inherited a club in turmoil. His predecessors spent big on average players; a fabulous model to ruin a club. Kenny Dalglish, Roy Hodgson and, to a lesser extent, Rafa Benitez had been catastrophic in the transfer market and inevitably faced the axe.

Starting with a bloated and ineffective squad, the current manager is charged with restoring Liverpool to the elite of English clubs, under obligation of using young, inexpensive players. So his managing career at Anfield very much depends on how much his recruits can contribute. We have already seen what wasting the club’s money will result in, so how does Brendan Rodgers fare?

Here is look at the senior squad members Brendan Rodgers has sought out for overhaul of the club.

SahinNuri Sahin

In 2011, one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe never arrived at Santiago Bernabeu. The Sahin that probed, passed and performed to an exemplary standard in Dortmund’s Bundesliga triumph was replaced by an ill-prepared doppelganger that could never convince Mourinho.

Shunned out of Madrid by the Special One, Liverpool and Rodgers collected the Turk in the hopes of capturing that fleeting Bundesliga form.

Arriving short of match fitness, he picked up a small knock. Physically, and, in all certainty, psychologically, this false start meant he was never in a position to stake his claim and prove his worth, despite a false dawn with a tremendous double against West Brom.

Supplanting Gerrard and Allen in the midfield proved a task that broke the Turk’s spirit. Circumstance conspired against him and Sahin's spell in Merseyside will represent nothing more than a passing memory.

Transfer Grade: 3/10

Joe AllenJoe Allen

The former Swansea midfield maestro shared a cab with his manager in the move up from Wales during the summer. But fans immediately fretted the high transfer fee was a repeat of the Jordan Henderson nightmare.

Claiming several Man-of-the-Match awards to start his Anfield days may have eased some fears. But before fully convincing, his form eventually suffered when he became overused and exhausted covering for the absence of Lucas.

Right or wrong, Joe Allen also has to fight a certain mindset of what attributes are needed for a midfielder in this league. Without a cannon shot or lung-bursting marauding runs from deep, the player is much maligned. But this is a country that loves and admires Xavi, but habitually under-appreciates the domestic talents of Scholes, Carrick, and Allen.  

Transfer Grade: 6/10

BoriniFabio Borini

The young Italian has been guilty of some dreadful finishing in a Red shirt so far, especially during that disastrous and embarrassing hour against Oldham.

But he shouldn’t be written off just yet. He was a hit in Serie A, and was a senior international at only twenty years old. Unfortunately he has been plagued with relentless injuries thus far in his Reds career; including a broken foot, and currently a severe shoulder injury.

His work-rate is non-stop and one can envision him as the replacement for Dirk Kuyt.

Transfer Grade: 5/10

Oussama Assaidi

Recruited from obscurity to… well, equivalent levels of obscurity, hidden away on the Liverpool bench. Looks a good waste of 3 million pounds. 

Transfer grade: 1/10

Daniel_sturridge_improvedDaniel Sturridge

Long before they snapped up Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool tied up a deal for the English striker. At a price of just £12 million, Rodgers was able to sign a 23-year-old international with a point to prove.

Sturridge has long claimed he is suited for a central striking role and has now gotten the chance at Anfield. Instantly hitting sensational form; scoring in his first three games for the club. Proving that his mind might finally be in the right place to ensure that he fulfills his obvious potential.

Transfer Grade: 7/10

CoutinhoPhilippe Coutinho

The versatile Brazilian forward was a surprise late January arrival from Internazionale. The 20-year-old attacker looks capable of playing either off the front man or in one of the wide positions. Epitomizing the type of player Brendan Rodgers is bringing to Anfield – slightly built, quick, technically skillful and very young.

His pace and trickery already looks to have complemented Suarez and Sturridge superbly. Getting off to a flying start with a goal and flashes of skill in the 5-0 demolition of Swansea last month, followed by just tormenting the poor Wigan defenders during the Reds 4-0 rout.

Transfer Grade: 7/10

Rodgers’ signings seem to make the grade. He has been proactive in his search for players to overhaul the Liverpool squad. Ambitious loan signing Nuri Sahin may not have worked, but it was absolutely the right gamble to make. And almost all the other players recruited are exceptionally young and have shown flashes of their potential. So if it is the beginning of long Liverpool careers for most of them, then Rodgers has been economic and successful.

It is right to applaud the arrivals, as these young players can only seem to grow on already impressive beginnings at Anfield. Perhaps there can be a little disappointment at the failure to address depth in key areas. Full-back and centre-back are in desperate need of reinforcements. 

Calling all Liverpool fans: Do you agree with Dave's assessments? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.



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