Damien Comolli is a name vaguely familiar to English football. Between 2005 and 2008 he was Tottenham’s director of football. Previously he had worked for Arsenal, appointed by Arsene Wenger in 1996 as the club’s European Scout. Between times, he worked as Saint Etienne’s director of football. His strength is in finding hidden gems at relatively small costs. At Arsenal, Comolli is credited with discovering the likes of Emanuel Eboue, Kilo Toure and Gael Clichy, whilst his – albeit less successful – spell at Tottenham saw him head the scouting of Gareth Bale.
Appointed to oversee Liverpool’s player recruitment, Comolli’s is an appointment which promises a busy January, reports The Guardian. More than that, it promises that his signings will be successful ones – a criticism which has been levelled at Roy Hodgson and Rafa Benitez before him has been the poor quality of incoming players.
Hodgson delight with Comolli.
Roy Hodgson told the Telegraph that Damien Comolli’s arrival at Liverpool could only be a positive thing for the club, despite the fact that it creates a fissure between the famous Boot Room and Board Room. “The days of the dictatorial type English manager, where nobody dared buy a paper clip without his approval, are gone,” Hodgson said, although he did admit that, in spite of Comolli’s arrival as sporting director that he expected to have the final say on transfers.
Hodgson has experience of working under a Sporting Director responsible for scouting and negotiating transfers before, not least under Alistair MacIntosh at Fulham and at Internazionale. “When I was at Inter there as Sandro Mazzola, the sporting director, and Giacinto Facchetti, who I worked enormously closely with,” he said.
Strong line-up vs Napoli.
Glen Johnson is just one of several big-names set to return to the Liverpool squad for tonight’s Europa League qualifier against Napoli. A strong squad is expected, according to the Daily Telegraph, showing the importance of keeping Liverpool’s recent upsurge in form going. Although Ryan Babel, Dirk Kuyt, Fabio Aurelio and Joe Cole will be missing – and no promises have yet been made over Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard’s involvement – Hodgson has promised a strong line-up. “We’ll have a strong team out on Thursday,” he said. “We won’t rest too many.”