Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rodgers Turns To Academy Players

Brendan Rodgers is ready to look to Liverpool's academy to bolster his attack after insisting that he will not try to sign any free agents before January.

Liverpool manager Rodgers was left with just two senior forwards after failing to bring in either Clint Dempsey or Daniel Sturridge to replace Andy Carroll, who has joined West Ham on a season's loan.

Rodgers has made it clear that he only let Carroll go before the transfer window closed because he thought he had a replacement lined up.

Liverpool have since been linked with a number of free agents, who can be signed outside the transfer window, but Rodgers said no moves were ever made to sign Michael Owen, Emile Heskey or Alessandro Del Piero.

Asked about any bids to bring in strikers on free transfers, he said: "There have been no attempts." Rodgers said none were in the pipeline and added: "The players I've got here have been terrific. It's going to be an opportunity for young players.

"There's money invested into the academy here. We have some wonderful people who work in the academy, and we've got some young talent.

"Sometimes, at the big clubs, it's very, very difficult to get an opportunity. And now some of these young players are going to get that opportunity to play some games. The platform will be there for them. I'll always look to what I've got from within before looking outside, and I'll look at some young talented players."

Rodgers also insisted his relationship with Liverpool's American owners, Fenway Sports Group, was as strong as ever despite the club's transfer deadline day frustrations.

And the manager believes he will be helped in his search for new talent in January by the arrival of scouts Dave Fallows and Barry Hunter, who joined the club from Manchester City this week.

It was initially thought that City would not allow Fallows and Hunter to move until the New Year, but Rodgers has managed to rush the appointments through.

"One of a number of reasons I came to Liverpool was the owners," Rodgers said. "There's no damage been done [to their relationship]. I have total respect for the people I work for and, like I say, there will be lessons learned from the window because it's a new group of people.

"We were behind because we were waiting for people to work on our recruitment side. Those guys have joined us this week, which has been great, and that will really help us now going forward.

"It was always going to be a difficult summer for us. But moving forward over the next number of months, we're going to see some young players. The senior players have been brilliant since I came in, and now we hope we'll move forward and revisit it again in January."

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