Friday, April 22, 2011

Kenny Dalglish Calls For Liverpool To Continue Spending Spree

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has insisted the club must continue spending this summer in order to continue their revival, but has assured the team’s young players they will be given first team opportunities.

The Merseyside club invested £57.8 million in January on forward pairing Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, having raised £56m from the sales of Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel.

Dalglish has called for a continuation of investment in top-class players with the likes of Bolton defender Gary Cahill, Aston Villa’s Ashley Young and Blackpool captain Charlie Adam linked with moves to Merseyside.

Speaking to The Guardian, Dalglish said: "Every summer is important for the club. The better the business, the more successful the club is going to be. If you do good business, you've more chance of being successful.

“That just doesn't mean buying players and letting players go, it's about developing what else you have. This summer is going to be very important, not just for Liverpool Football Club, but every football club. And the better decisions you make, the better business you do, the better chance you have of setting yourself up for next season."

The Scotsman, however, has pledged not to disregard the club's youth prospect having seen Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing, John Flanagan and Jack Robinson all step up into the senior squad this season.

"It's important that there is room for development for players, but it's also important that you don't use it as an excuse not to spend money and not improve what you've already got," he continued.

"Age does not determine their ability to play. So if we're convinced we have young players who are better than what's available, then we'll keep our younger players. There's no two ways about it.

“But that does not say we don't want to improve as a football club in any way, shape or form. We do need to leave some path open if we do think there are players who can come in.

“If they develop then fine, if they don't, we've got a problem. But if you buy a player in and he doesn't produce, you've got a bigger problem."

Meireles Rewarded By Fans

Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles has been recognized for his impressive performances this season with the PFA Fans' Player of the Year award.

The 28-year-old arrived in late August from Porto in an £11.5million deal and took a while to settle after being played in a number of positions by then manager Roy Hodgson.

But he has played an increasingly influential role in his debut Premier League campaign, turning in a number of sparkling displays.

The Portugal international started to find his best form after Kenny Dalglish replaced Hodgson in early January and he opened his goalscoring account in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

The strike against Everton signalled a run of five goals in six matches, and he has now beaten off competition from the likes of likes of Arsenal's Samir Nasri, Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United and Chelsea's David Luiz to claim the coveted PFA prize vote for by fans.

"Raul has always had the ability he has shown recently," said Dalglish.

"Maybe he's settled down a little bit and is more comfortable and confident because he is playing well but there's been nothing drastic [tactically] for any of the players really.

"It is fantastic to see Raul doing so well. He has always been a talented footballer, he's always had what we are seeing now but it's been trying to get it out and it is coming out now and he's scoring goals."

Dalglish Praises Spearing Impact

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has praised midfielder Jay Spearing for stepping into the void left by Steven Gerrard's injury-enforced absence.

With the Reds captain ruled out for the remainder of the season after undergoing a groin operation, the 22-year-old academy graduate has been given a chance in central midfield alongside Lucas.

Spearing probably had the best game of his short first-team career in the win at Sunderland last month, the first Premier League match after Gerrard was sidelined.

Having not started under former boss Roy Hodgson, the former FA Youth Cup-winning captain has played in all three matches since, putting in assured performances against Manchester City and Arsenal.

"Any team in the world would be a better team with Steven Gerrard playing in midfield and we're no different,'' said Dalglish. "You feel for players when they're injured but when they are injured someone else steps up to the plate. It's to their credit that they've all stepped up to the plate; not just Jay, all of them.

"He's always been a good passer but maybe now he's got a bit more confidence and belief in himself and he's encouraged more to do it. The games he's had and the performances he's put in will give him confidence but he still does that (the snapping around people's ankles) and we wouldn't want to take that away from him. Jay's been fantastic in the games he's played for us, and that's a great lift for everyone at the club - to see someone like that coming through.''

Dalglish has not been afraid to give younger, less experienced players a run in the team - although some of his selections have been down to necessity.

Spearing is ahead of Christian Poulsen, who has won more than 80 caps for Denmark, in the midfield pecking order while the likes of teenage defenders John Flanagan and Jack Robinson have been pressed into action because of injuries to Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger and Fabio Aurelio.

"We've got a few injuries and it's how we react to that that's most important to us and they've done fantastically well in adversity,'' added Dalglish. "Jonjo Shelvey was doing really well as well until he got injured but now he's coming back in; Danny Wilson is the same and Martin Kelly too - they've all been really good for us this year. But Jay has been the one who's done as much as anyone.''

Portuguese Star Close To £12m Liverpool Switch

Porto defender Rolando is subject to interest from Liverpool and Roma, reports talkSPORT.

With cash to spend following a recent takeover, Roma are keen to add the Portuguese star to their squad for the new season.

But Liverpool, who will have cash to spend after a takeover of their own, is rivalling the Serie A side for his signature.

The £12 million rated centre-back played every minute of Porto's Liga Sagres winning season, where they went 27 games unbeaten, and his performances have been so impressive that Liverpool have been tracking his progress.

With Kenny Dalglish set to be installed at the helm, the Liverpool boss is looking to add a defender to his ranks with Gary Cahill and Neven Subotic also on the club's radar.

Comolli Sets Liverpool Winger Sights On Schalke Star

Liverpool has turned their transfer sights to winger Jose Manuel Jurado, according to reports.

The Schalke midfielder is in fine form for the German outfit and has impressed in both the Bundesliga and Champions League this term at the Veltins-Arena.

Damien Comolli, director of football at Anfield, is thought to have been alerted to the player's ability, with Liverpool known to be in the market for a winger this summer.

Ashley Young, Eden Hazard and Charles N'Zogbia are three other players thought to be of interest to the Reds, with speculation mounting over who the club will make their move for.

24-year-old Jurado is the latest player to emerge on the list, with the former Atletico Madrid star tipped to add the creativity Kenny Dalglish is looking for at Liverpool.

Tribalfootball claims both Comolli and Dalglish are convinced the former Spanish U21 international can handle the speed and physicality of Barclays Premier League football at Liverpool.

With financial backing from Fenway Sports Group, who proved they are willing to back the Liverpool boss in the transfer market in January, an offer could potentially be made in the summer.

Poulsen Intent On Proving Himself

Christian Poulsen is determined to resurrect his failed career at Liverpool according to his agent.

The Danish midfielder has not made a positive impact since former manager Roy Hodgson brought him in from Juventus last summer, and he has rarely been seen in the team since Kenny Dalglish replaced the current West Bromwich Albion boss in the Anfield hotseat.

Poulsen's poor appearance record at Liverpool has led to reports linking him with a return to his home country with FC Copengahen, however this is a move that the 31-year-old’s representative Jorn Bonnesen says will not be considered.

“Danish football is of no interest to him this summer,” Bonnesen - who also cited Poulsen's recent injuries as a factor in his misfortune - told Bold. “It is not in Christian’s thinking.

“Christian really likes life at Liverpool, both on and off the field. He has a contract for another two years and will continue working hard to secure more playing time.

“He has been out with a hamstring injury for recent matches – that’s why he hasn’t been in the squad.

“Liverpool have a few injuries at the moment, so there will be opportunities for him in the run-in.”

Aquilani Doesn't Want Reds Return

Alberto Aquilani has made it clear he would rather sign a permanent deal with Juventus than return to Liverpool for next season.

quilani has been a success during his loan spell in Turin and Reds manager Kenny Dalglish said on Thursday there was a chance the Italy international "could be a valuable asset" at Anfield next season.

However Aquilani, who joined Liverpool from Roma for £17 million in the summer of 2009, has underlined that he wants to join Juve, who have an option to sign the player for £13 million.

"My situation is simple. It all depends on Juventus - if they want to, (they can) buy me without asking anyone's opinion," Aquilani told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I would like to stay in Turin for a long time and win a lot.

"I want to be a protagonist in the new winning cycle that is opening up at Juventus. I have no doubt that Juve's project is a winner, they just need a little patience.

"I played with great continuity, without any particular problems. I finally removed the tag of me always being injured. I knew I was healthy, that I was just unlucky in the past, but in football people just want to label someone."

Liverpool Agree Massive Kit Deal

Liverpool Football Club have signed a deal worth a reported £25million a year with Boston-based Warrior Sports.

The deal is twice what Adidas are currently paying for the rights to produce Liverpool’s kits, and is a new record in English football – eclipsing Manchester United’s current deal with Nike.

Little known in the UK, Warrior Sports are a subsidiary of New Balance and have been increasingly moving into kit manufacturing, including a deal with Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group and their ownership of the Boston Red Sox.

The deal will come into place from the 2012/13 season.

Reports today say Liverpool’s kits are the fourth most selling replica kits in world football, only behind Man United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Dalglish Praises Impact Of John Flanagan And Jack Robinson

Kenny Dalglish has praised the impact youngsters John Flanagan and Jack Robinson have had since being thrust into first-team action after injuries had left Liverpool short of defensive options.

Both defenders have handled the spotlight of the Premier League exceptionally well and played a crucial part in the Reds victory over Manchester City and the draw with Arsenal at the Emirates.

Dalglish is hopeful their good form continues but is wary of burning his young defenders out. He also admitted the dangers of the players getting carried away with their good performances which were highlighted in the media.

"We're delighted with what they've done and the fact it's been against Man City and Arsenal speaks volumes for them and the way they've been brought up," Dalglish told reporters.

"We just hope it continues, but at the same time we're not going to get carried away and we're not going to destroy the boys.

"We've got to be conscious of the fact they are only kids and we've got to know, and look for, any wee signs maybe it's a proper time to give them a rest if they need it," he added. "We've got to look after them and be consistent.

"We've got to keep our feet on the ground. There's no chance of yourselves [journalists] keeping your feet on the ground, so we've got to do that for them.

"But they are very level headed and the boys that come through the Academy do so with the same principals that are relevant to being a decent footballer - and that's that the team comes first."