Liverpool Focus - Rodgers forced to turn to youth after Carroll departure
A week has passed since Liverpool disappointed supporters by failing to sign any attacking players on a disastrous transfer deadline day; however both the fans and new manager Brendan Rodgers are now coming to terms with what that lack of activity means for the club going forward.
The Reds were desperately seeking to bolster their striking options last Friday, especially following the departure of £35m Englishman Andy Carroll, who joined West Ham United on loan. But the Merseysiders were unable to lure reported targets Clint Dempsey, Daniel Sturridge or Theo Walcott to the club, meaning former Swansea boss Rodgers will have to be pragmatic in order to extract the most from his limited attacking options, at least until January.
While the lack of incoming activity on deadline day is likely to be used as a key criticism each time Liverpool now fail to win a fixture, strangely, there may be some positives to take from this dramatic saga. One minor plus point is that those in charge of negotiations are likely to have learnt lessons about how to operate in the transfer window and fans will hope that the same mistakes are not repeated in January. Fortunately, there is another major positive which could come as a direct result of not replacing Carroll.
A lack of senior attacking options means that Rodgers is very likely to call upon some of the talented youngsters to play a part in the first-team over the coming months. The manager admitted as much in an interview with fans from Liverpool supporters’ sites – and he specifically referred to Spanish starlet Suso as being one who could benefit from the situation. Others who could come into contention include striker Adam Morgan, who made his first start in the Reds’ recent second-leg Europa League clash against Hearts, Daniel Pacheco, the highly-rated Spaniard who almost left the club on deadline day, and Samed Yesil, an exciting German forward who arrived at Anfield only recently from Bayer Leverkusen.
The likes of Suso, Morgan, Pacheco and Yesil will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of 17-year-old winger Raheem Sterling, who has played extremely well in the last couple of Premier League games. Rodgers insists that he has always given players under the age of 21 a chance so far in his flourishing managerial career and will continue to do so at Anfield – but only if the youngsters deserve the opportunity.
Supporters have, for some time now, been hoping to see more players rising through the ranks – just like Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen previously - and they may now get to see that happen. While the disappointment of last Friday will not immediately disappear, there may still be some positives to take from the situation. Now it is up to the younger players to make the most of the opportunities which are likely to come their way over the next few months.
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