Pepe Reina was in bullish mood speaking to the Daily Telegraph today. “I hope within a year, or a couple of years, we can be up there again,” he said, putting the troubles which have blighted their season so far behind him. “We want to be back competing with the top clubs again. That is how it should be.”
In spite of Liverpool’s poor start to the season, Reina believes that they have a squad capable of turning things around this season. The new year brings with it fresh hopes and dreams, and the Spanish custodian envisages a wonderful F.A. Cup tie against Manchester United which could prove a springboard for a brighter future. “It could transform things if we win there (Old Trafford),” he predicted.
Highly rated young shot-stopper Yusuf Mersin will join Liverpool for an undisclosed fee in January. Despite Millwall’s best attempts, the Turkish Under-17 international has agreed terms with the Premier League giants and will in future hope to succeed where Charles Itandje, Diego Cavalieri and Bard Jones have failed before him; to successfully contest Pepe Reina’s position in the first team.
His current manager Kenny Jackett told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s impossible to stop a boy leaving when a Premier League club such as Liverpool makes him an offer.” The signing has the hallmarks of Damien Comolli’s influence. The new sporting director has targeted youth development as a critical policy for Liverpool, meaning that Mersin’s arrival is likely to be followed by others of a similar nature.
Spearing signs contract.
With his pen poised above paper ready to sign a long-term contract extension, Jay Spearing has thanked manager Roy Hodgson for saving his Anfield career. The 22-year-old, as with many other Melwood graduates, found first-team football difficult to come by under Rafa Benitez – recently sacked by Internazionale – and credits his current manager for giving him an opportunity to effectively start again at Liverpool.
“With the new boss coming in, it was a clean slate for everyone – especially for me now that I’m 22 – to try and break in on a regular basis,” he told the Daily Mirror. “The manager’s given me a lot more games, and I’m very appreciative of that. Hopefully, I think I’ve proven to him I’m capable of stepping in whenever he needs me.” With a new contract in the offing, opportunities are likely to follow far more regularly.