Is this a make or break season for Liverpool?
The 2015/16 season is huge for Brendan Rodgers. It’s do or die for him and Liverpool Football Club.
It will be Rodgers’ fourth season in charge on Merseyside, but he still remains trophy-less, the only manager in Liverpool’s long and famous history to not pick up silverware in their first three years as boss.
For the second summer running, the former Swansea City gaffer wants to spend serious cash in the transfer market. After losing Luis Suarez last year and Steven Gerrard this, it feels like the beginning of a new era at Anfield.
Six new faces have already been added as Rodgers has started his transfer dealings early. Nathaniel Clyne and Roberto Firmino come in as big money moves, while if you browse the back pages of any national newspaper, Christian Benteke looks like the next mega signing.
There is also going to be several departures as Liverpool look to shift the dead weights such as Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Jose Enrique and free up even more space on the wage book to bring in replacements.
Another player nearing the exit door is Raheem Sterling. Sterling doesn’t want to play for the club, he’s made that quite clear. But after turning down two Manchester City bids for the England man, Liverpool look to be either holding out for as much as they can get, or they might actually want to keep him at the club.
The latter seems a serious possibility, whereas a few weeks ago it looked certain that the youngster would be moving on. To me, this seems a very foolish move from Rodgers.
Yes, the kid is a great player who has so much potential, there’s no doubt about that, but history shows us that keeping players against their will then expecting them to go out and deliver for a club they don’t to play for just doesn’t work.
If Sterling wants to leave then let him do so. A new study was released claiming that Sterling is the ‘most valuable young player in Europe’ so why not utilise this and cash in?
Liverpool have plenty of attacking options who can step up and replace Sterling. Danny Ings impressed at Burnley last season, and the likes of Adam Lallana and Firmino can play anywhere behind the striker. And don’t forget Philippe Coutinho, arguably the club’s best player last season, who was fantastic in the number ten role.
The club’s recruitment policy has now changed. Rodgers is thinking of the future by bringing in more young and hungry players, albeit whilst some are still costing huge amounts such as £29 million new boy Firmino. Rodgers wants players who want to play for him and the club, and Sterling is clearly not one of those.
The addition of Sean O’Driscoll as the club’s new assistant manager is another shrewd move. Ok, he has no Premier League experience having managed in the lower leagues for most of his career, but O’Driscoll is a very highly regarded coach.
Rodgers has spoken in the past about the admiration he has for the former Doncaster Rovers boss, and the way he likes the game to be played, so having him on board will work wonders for Liverpool’s pressing style of play.
Next season starts where the last one ended, away to Stoke City. Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Liverpool that day, and August will start a campaign that will shape the future of Liverpool.
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