A change in the dugout is a good start for Liverpool, but if the club are serious about succeeding, they’ll need to alter their scattered method of recruitment, too
Sixty-four. That is more or less the average number of Premier League points Liverpool have managed over the last five seasons. It is also, remarkably, the figure of transfer deals completed during Brendan Rodgers’ three-year tenure.
Thirty-one players were recruited under the Northern Irishman at a cost in excess of £291 million and 33 were ejected. There is a split on where to place blame for such silly and expensive bulk business, with the 42-year-old the subject of the finger pointing along with the club’s fumbling transfer committee.
With Rodgers now departed and Jurgen Klopp expected to be unveiled on Friday, Liverpool must mirror the freshness of their management team with a crisper approach to transfers.
Beyond an unfortunate name, the committee, which in structure is not much different to the majority of recruitment departments among Europe’s elite, needs to ditch its dysfunctional approach. The reports of Rodgers and the men who make up the centralised decision-making body – Mike Gordon, Ian Ayre, Barry Hunter, Dave Fallows and Michael Edwards – being involved in a Cold War of sorts is disconcerting, but it was inevitable.
Recruitment should not be about pleasing individuals, it is an indispensable tool to help a club deliver its objectives. Liverpool’s collective system has to throw out the ‘what I want’ mentality to trace a bigger picture. While Klopp’s cult of personality will initially perk up Anfield, to enjoy the taste of success again will first require everyone pulling in the same direction.
And for that, there needs to be clarity of vision.