Jan Molby

Liverpool should hold back some cash and think long term

Jan Molby

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Jan Molby is confident Liverpool will soon be able to attract players like Marco Reus – just not in this transfer window.


Some Liverpool fans seem to be frustrated by the club's transfer dealings this summer, thinking the club need to sign at least one big superstar player.

As a football fan, what you always want is for your team to go out and get bullet proof players; superstars who have proved it at the highest level for a number of seasons.

Liverpool's signings in the last three of four years have never been from that top shelf. Some have improved and got to that level, others haven't, and it is probably going to be the same story with the batch they are signing this summer.

I can understand that the fans are thinking: "we finished second, we are back in the Champions League – now go and make a big statement in the transfer market," but Liverpool are embarking on a long-term plan.

There is still money in the pot from the Suarez sale, so they will continue to be linked with big names, but you have to wonder if the likes of Marco Reus or Karim Benzema would look at Liverpool at the moment and consider them attractive enough?

Arsenal are a club that are run in a similar fashion to Liverpool and it seems like they are now starting to attract these type of players, but the key difference between the two clubs is Arsenal never dropped out of the Champions League whereas Liverpool disappeared from that level for a few seasons.

Even when Arsenal were having their difficult seasons, they still managed to keep finishing in the top four and reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.

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Yes Liverpool are back in the competition this year, but there is no guarantee they will finish in the top four again. That has to be the aim – a top four finish and a good showing in the Champions League would be more than satisfactory – to aim for anything else would be greedy.

The world's biggest stars, who Liverpool will hope to sign in the future, will take a step back and look and see how the club do this year in the Champions League, so the campaign will be crucial in making Liverpool a more attractive option.

I think Brendan Rodgers knows that. He has been given the most money he has ever had, and probably the most money he will ever have, because of the Suarez sale. He has essentially rewritten his own job description because he did so well last year, so he will know the pressure is on.

Liverpool won't be one of the top seeds in their Champions League group but in their first season back I think they will enjoy and relish that. Playing big teams in the Champions League will give Liverpool a chance to announce to the football world that they are back on the big stage. That's what you want after a few years away.

And that is how the likes of Marco Reus are going to judge Liverpool. Players of that calibre are not going to decide to join Liverpool after watching 3-0 wins against Swansea City, but if they see Liverpool mixing it with some of the best teams in Europe, they could be tempted.

There is a tendency for managers to spend the money they are given as quickly as they can, but you don't get the impression that Brendan will do that, as he is there for the long run – it is not a make or break season for him.

If he can get his targets - great! But there is nothing wrong with Liverpool keeping some of that Suarez money in the bank, with a view to January and beyond, especially when you already have what is potentially a very strong squad.

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People seem to be forgetting that Liverpool finished second last year and for the last four or five months were the best team in the Premier League. They have lost their leader in Suarez of course, but elsewhere there wasn't a lot of work needed to the squad.

There is a certain profile to the players they have brought in and you can see why they have signed them. Although admittedly, if Liverpool are to get where they want to be, all the signings will have to step up. They will have to improve on what they've achieved at the clubs that they have been with so far.

Looking at the team Liverpool might put out next season, I think Brendan likes having a settled side and feels he will go to war with his best XI in both the Premier League and the Champions League and take it from there.

He will take the risk of players getting tired or injured. I would be very surprised to see wholesale changes from Premier League to Champions League games, which means the domestic cups might have to be downgraded.

At the moment, that best XI probably has Sturridge playing through the middle on his own, with Sterling on the right and options out left. I think the idea is to play Markovic there but he might need some time to settle, but Lallana can also play there.

If Lovren comes he will have a genuine claim for a place in the starting XI, as does Lallana, and if they bring in a left-back he will be expected to play.

But I don't see wholesale changes, Brendan is quite happy with the core of his team, the Gerrard and Henderson link-up is well established, the goalkeeper is settled, Glen Johnson's the clear right back.

Seven or eight players will be brought in but Brendan will not be looking for all of them to come straight into the starting line-up.

If the players Liverpool already have reproduce the form they showed last season, then I have no doubt they can achieve their aims in the forthcoming season.

Hopefully then they will have the stature and the money to attract that world class 'Number 10 player', who can push them on to the next level.

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