Comolli offers Liverpool transfer consistency despite Dalglish uncertainty

Liverpool has been one of the busiest teams in the current transfer window, with a host of names from Charlie Adam to Charles N’Zogbia linked with moves to Anfield. The Daily Telegraph’s Merseyside reporter Rory Smith believes manager Kenny Dalglish’s priority is to lighten the load on the shoulders of Fernando Torres.

Smith said: ”They are looking at finally giving Torres the support he needs; a left-back, a midfielder and a wide player, though I would guess they would be happy with two or three, rather than all four. The team to me needs strengthening pretty much everywhere, but I’m inclined to think they’ve got their priorities just about right, though I’d sign a centre back too.”

While Blackpool captain Adam seems destined for a move to Merseyside Smith questions the wisdom of such a transfer: ”I suspect Adam will end up at Liverpool, though to be honest I don’t quite see why they need him. Dalglish seems to want to play a 4-3-3 and I would suggest that a middle three of (Steven) Gerrard, Lucas (Leiva) and (Raul) Meireles is perfectly adequate. For that reason, I would guess if Adam falls through, attention may turn to a different position – a move for N’Zogbia or Ashley Young, say.”

Just as much of Liverpool’s transfer business remains unresolved, another vital issue is equally up in the air – the identity of Liverpool’s next permanent manager. Smith believes the temporary presence of Dalglish is offset by Damien Comolli who, as director of football strategy, offers Liverpool some consistency: ”The transfer strategy didn’t change particularly (when Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson) beyond the fact that Hodgson clearly rated (Paul) Konchesky and Dalglish evidently doesn’t, so has made a left back a priority.

”That Damien Comolli was the first person appointed by Fenway Sports Group (FSG) was telling. He oversees general long-term transfer strategy with input, rather than direction, from the manager. I think before Dalglish returned they wanted three or four signings, including a striker and a midfielder, and that remains the case now.”

Comolli and Dalglish are both working with owner John W Henry, according to Smith: ”It is being described as a collegiate effort between Dalglish, Comolli and John W Henry, so Kenny will have input.” He stressed that Dalglish’s influence may be limited: ”If his targets do not fit the club’s profile they will not come to Anfield.”

Smith concedes Liverpool’s dealings this month became more complex when Roy Hodgson was sacked on January 8. He said: ”The issue is that should Dalglish leave in the summer, the new man may want a specific player in a specific position which may lead to a surplus. I presume there are balances in place to stop that happening, though I don’t know what they are.

”The managerial situation complicates things a bit, though as I mentioned, the fact that Comolli oversees everything means they can recruit according to a long-term policy without worrying about the manager’s future.”

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