It is already turning out to be quite a busy summer for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool Football Club.
On Saturday Sevilla and Spanish Under-21 striker Luis Alberto joined the Reds in a $10 million deal, with Barcelona turning down the option to buy him.
Alberto, 20, was on loan at Barcelona B last season and scored 11 goals in 38 games.
The striker also scored 25 goals in 75 appearances for Sevilla’s B side but failed to score in seven games for their first team.
So spending $10 million on a player who hasn’t scored in the top division in Spain seems a little strange, does it not?
But that is the way Liverpool’s transfer policy has veered this summer. Rodgers and his staff and getting creative with their buys but one must think that bigger name signings will arrive later in the window, especially if Luis Suárez does leave Anfield.
Daniel Sturridge could take over the leading role, after he impressed with 11 goals in 16 games following his $18.4 million move from Chelsea in January. But Sturridge will be out for up to four months after injuring his ankle while playing for England earlier this month.
However with another Spanish attacker set to join — Iago Aspas of Celta Vigo will complete his $10 million move in the next few days as paperwork formalities are sorted out — bringing in talented youngsters seem to be the main aim for Rodgers this summer. Aspas is 25, but is uncapped by Spain and has been something of a late bloomer.
Yes, Liverpool look to have sealed the signing of Belgian international goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland for $14 million. But their other signings, coupled with the capture of 21-year-old Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho last January, propose a shift in Liverpool’s tactics in player recruitment.
Rodgers will want to mold these youngsters and unearth their potential by continuing to play the possession based soccer he knows and loves at Liverpool. He doesn’t really want players who differ from his playing style and doesn’t want to spend too much time adapting their style of play. He wants younger players who are more receptive to change and won’t be stubborn enough to persist with their previous playing habits.
32-year-old defender Kolo Toure arrived on a free transfer from Manchester City, and many raised eyebrows as to whether Rodgers was going to move forward with experienced pros instead of giving youth a chance.
I think we all know which direction Liverpool are heading in now. Change is occurring and as we saw last season, they’re moving forward slowly but surely under Rodgers’ stewardship.
Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori is said to be next on the list. Again, he is 20 and can be molded accordingly as Rodgers revolution continues to take shape. Also Shakhtar Donetsk’s 24-year-old Armenian star Henrikh Mkhitaryan is close to joining Liverpool, with the highly touted attacker — who scored 25 goals from midfield last season — said to be valued between $27-30 million.
With Carroll gone and Suárez edging ever closer to the exit door, a new look Liverpool side could conceivably see at least half of their outfield players under the age of 22 next season.
Winds of change are sweeping through Anfield. Exciting times with exuberant youngsters could lie ahead.