The rhetoric coming out of Liverpool since NESV’s takeover have been on the whole very positive. However, nothing is as positive as their reported philosophy in the transfer market. The new policy is stop purchasing players without re-sale value, to bring the age of the squad down and to delvelop younger talent. NESV have highlighted the signings of Robbie Keane and Fernando Morientes as perfect examples of the old policy under Rafa Benitez.
As well as this the new owners are said to be outraged by new long term deals being offered to Jamie Charagher. The new owners do not doubt the ability of Charagher but the size of the deal considering his age is a further example of the poor decisions the previous administration were taking. On this issue John W Henry has personally voiced his concerns on his arrival at Anfield:
“We have to be more efficient. When we spend a dollar it has to be wisely. We cannot afford player contracts that do not make long-term sense. We have to be smart, bold, and aggressive. It’s a great challenge.”
The new owners have said they will not make marquee signings to appease fans. The new owners are going to take a very tactical approach in the transfer market. Without a doubt Liverpool need a new approach. The hope for the fans is that with this new vision, Liverpool will be signing quality youngsters that will compliment the experience the squad has.
This change of approach NESV plan to make at Liverpool is in line with the policies at Arsenal and Manchester United. With a few exceptions, both clubs try to buy young talent and put them on longer deals. This has added to their rocketing value and a strong sell on price. The sales of the likes of Nicholas Anelka and Cristiano Ronlado are perfect examples of estute business practice.
Is this a policy that other clubs need to follow? Even to a certain extent, Manchester City have adopted such a policy during their huge spending sprees. The signings of young talent in the forms of Mario Ballotelli, David Silva, Adam Johnson and James Milner will propel Manchester City forward both domestically and in Europe.
Though such a transfer policy would not guarantee instant results, clubs that have apopted such positions in the transfer market have seen a lot of dead wood at their clubs being reduced. No longer can older players sit on huge contracts without offering any value to their team. In the case of Liverpool such players as Jovanovic, Lucas and Babel and Poulson could be replaced by Llorente, Jarvis, Defour and Hazzard. Liverpool would be competing to sign top class youngsters, who would offer the club so much more than the players mentioned before.
Will it be a policy that will take off in the Premier League? The reality is that most Chairmen wont take gambles on youth. NESV are making the right decisions for Liverpool and each club and case is different. Liverpool need new blood, a new energy and find a philosophy once again. In the transfer market your club should know what type of player you expect to attract. Arsenal and Manchester United have that – Liverpool could do as well. This measured response to the failings of the previous administration is optomistic for Liverpool. This will not be an overnight process but is it the right measures for Liverpool to challenge once again in the Premier League?
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