With two wildly disparate transfer windows under his belt, Brendan Rodgers provided some insight into what went wrong last summer and how he can build on what went so right in January.
Many words were used to describe the most recent summer transfer window, and very few of those words were flattering when it came to Liverpool’s moves. What started with some mild feelings of optimism when Brendan Rodgers brought in Joe Allen and Fabio Borini quickly turned into a disaster of nachtmare proportions when the club moved multiple striking options on to new opportunities and then failed to bring in any reinforcements to play alongside the gifted but now unsupported Luis Suarez.
Rodgers confirmed what most have assumed for quite some time now: scouting during the summer window was non-existent. With the arrival of Dave Fallows and Barry Hunter, both previously with Manchester City’s scouting team, Rodgers was able to put together a much more thorough list of potential targets, three deep for each position he was looking to fill.
"Of course you have an ideal target," Rodgers said, "but we are getting to a situation now where, for me, you have to have three players and if one doesn't come off you have to be comfortable with the other two. If you get one of those you are happy. There is a lot of terrific work going on with the scouting department getting those lists together."
This scouting work made all the difference between Rodgers’ summer and winter transfer windows. Embarking on a summer recruitment spree equipped with a scouting team that could not begin work until after the transfer window closed was, at best, a poor position from which to start shaping the squad, and Rodgers largely stuck to known quantities whom he’d worked with in the past in an effort to bridge the gap in scouting reports. With the instant impact arrivals of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho proving him correct thus far, Rodgers is convinced the thorough approach used for scouting in January made all the difference.
"We are much better placed now. There is great collaboration that goes on between all the departments. January was a productive window for us and hopefully if we do the similar in the summer then it's going to be a real good place for us."
As to how he’s looking to strengthen in his third and potentially most decisive transfer window, Rodgers expressed that "it is quality we are after, not quantity" and that he only needs to bring in three or four new players to put the finishing touches on a "strong" squad.
Rodgers allegedly has £20 million in his war chest for transfers come July 1, plus whatever he can earn through selling players who may be looking to move on to other opportunities. With Coutinho’s signing being a good bit of business for an excellent price, it’s optimistic to think that Rodgers and his team may actually be able to buy three or four quality players on a modest yet financially responsible transfer budget.