herald

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Rodgers wants Scouse nucleus at Anfield

LIVERPOOL boss Brendan Rodgers believes his side need a Scouse heart in the years to come and breeding young, local talent at Anfield will form a big part of his job.

"You name me the best two players in England in the last six or seven years?" asked Rodgers, pausing for effect before his enthusiasm prompted him to answer himself.

"Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney: they're Scousers. One is from one part of the city and the other from another part. So you are not telling me there are not top young talents in Liverpool.

"My big thing is getting young players in here from the local area here in Liverpool.

"If you look at the history here - Carragher, Gerrard, McManaman, Fowler, Owen..." said Rodgers, as he saw Leeds-born Andre Wisdom 19, who joined Liverpool at 14, sign a long-term deal yesterday.

"It is sexy to look in Spain and I am one who loves working with European players. I love working with the talents and, all my life, I have worked with players from different parts of the world.

Doorstep

"But we mustn't forget what is on our doorstep, and this is a hotbed for footballers who have a passion, hunger and incredible qualities. That is a massive part of my job and something we are trying to put in place."

Despite the arrival of Daniel Sturridge on Merseyside, Rodgers has reassured summer signing Fabio Borini that he still figures highly in his plans as the Italian forward returns from injury.

"Other clubs have the depth to bring people off the bench and make an impact," Rodgers added.

"We have been unable to do that in the opening months of the season, which gives incredible credit to the players who have kept us going until now.

"We have Daniel here now and will have Fabio fit soon and that will give us that spark. Hopefully over the years Fabio can develop into a top performer which I think he can be."

Meanwhile, Anfield bosses are preparing to bring former boss Kenny Dalglish back into the fold at Liverpool as a club ambassador.

Dalglish filled a similar position prior to being reappointed as manager in the aftermath of Roy Hodgson's departure in January 2011.

The Scot left the manager's office last summer after an 18-month spell and at that time wanted a clean break, despite some suggestions that a backroom role would have been found for him at the club.

Family

Liverpool's principal owner, John W Henry, also gave the impression there would be a role back at the club when Dalglish was ready, because he is "part of the family".

"He is in many ways the heart and soul of the club. He personifies everything that is good about Liverpool Football Club," Henry said last summer.

"He has always put the club and its supporters first. Kenny will always be a part of the family at Anfield."

Opinion

Entertainment News