Why Liverpool Need Experience Over Youth More Than Ever in Summer Transfer Window

Joanna Durkan

​With the calibre of talent available in the summer transfer window resting upon Liverpool's ability to finish in the top four at the conclusion of the season, the quest for experienced players must be on the top of Jurgen Klopp's list regardless of their finishing position.

The Reds' owners,  Fenway Sports Group, have a well documented youth transfer policy which identifies players before their prime, aiming to develop and integrate them into the squad over a number of seasons. 

Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League
Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League

This approach has unearthed gems through the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Luis Suarez and current club captain Jordan Henderson but also some players the Anfield faithful may wish to forget: Fabio Borini, Andy Carroll and Iago Aspas. 

As expected transfers will either succeed or fail and very rarely can you guarantee the impact they will have. However, the issue with the Reds transfer policy in recent years is the continual cycle of building for the future.  

With trophies coming far and few between in recent years Liverpool have been susceptible of losing their best players to top clubs across Europe as they seek, and are of mind that they are talented enough to be consistently challenging for silverware. 

The hole they leave behind is very rarely filled, with Liverpool fans still arguably feeling the effects of losing midfield maestro Xabi Alonso in 2009, although prior to FSG's arrival the issue has still yet to be solved. 

Even more poignant  is f ollowing the departure and retirement of the last of the  club's old guard , Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, there has been a noticeable lack of leadership and direction within a side crying out for an experienced head. 

This has cost Liverpool on a number of occasions as the lack of experience in big games, most notably  cup finals, has resulted in heartbreaking losses which could have been more easily navigated had more experience been on the field. 

With a constant cycle of young players brought into the club, developing their craft and then leaving in their prime when they feel success lies elsewhere has left the Reds in a state of rebuilding for way too long. 

The approach is not to be experience or youth, it has to be both as a balance needs to be established. A number of figures in the changing room, an experienced midfielder to come on late in the game to protect the lead and control the tempo, and a loud voice on the field to direct and organise must be Klopp's priority.  

The German has created the foundations of success, with talented players throughout the squad. However a noticeable lack of mental toughness and a winning know how were hidden when  Liverpool started the season like a house on fire, as is the case when the euphoria  of winning is in the air.     

There is no doubt Liverpool are on their way to being able to consistently challenge for honours, but t he average age of Liverpool's squad is 26.4 years - the second youngest in the Premier League - and it is not to say they can't but y oung players should not bear the weight of expectation that constantly surrounds  Liverpool. 

If Champions League is secured squad depth will inevitably follow if the Reds are to compete on four fronts next season. This transfer window is arguably the Reds most important in recent times, Klopp will be entering his second full year in charge and the Anfield faithful will be full of expectation. 

To navigate the Premier League and have the ability to rotate the squad whilst maintaining momentum and challenging for the title, a mixture of youth and experience is exactly what the Reds need. 


What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes