Comolli: Reds’ squad complete

In a summer of change at Anfield manager Kenny Dalglish brought in
seven new players and offloaded most of the deadwood which had
accumulated over the last couple of years. Owners Fenway Sports
Group’ net spend in the two transfer windows since assuming control
last October is around £45million. It was felt such
expenditure was required in order to give the club the best
possible chance of quickly turning around their dip in fortunes
after seventh and sixth-place league finishes and regaining
Champions League status. Certainly the recruitment of Luis Suarez
and Andy Carroll in January and Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose
Enrique, Jordan Henderson, Sebastian Coates, Craig Bellamy and Doni
over the summer has made the Reds stronger in all areas. And
director of football Comolli said now was the time to assess the
new signings and see how the squad operates as a whole. “We want to
see how we’re going to do,” said the Frenchman. “We are very
pleased with what we’ve done during this window and the previous
one as well. “For me it’s like a big window from January until
August 31 and in total we brought in nine players, we changed the
team and changed the squad, so it’s the time to reflect. “To be
honest I would really struggle to say we need something there or
something there because I think we have such a complete squad at
the moment. “Let’s see how those players develop, how they gel
together, how the young players like Sebastian Coates adapts, and
then we can make a decision (on areas to strengthen) later.” While
there was a need to make significant changes to arrest the decline
of the last two seasons Comolli pointed out the recruitment policy
was part of a long-term strategy and not just a quick fix. All but
the 32-year-old Craig Bellamy of the nine players signed under
Dalglish are aged 27 or under. “It’s not a work for one season,
it’s a work for two, three, four seasons, especially when you are
investing in young players, as we’ve done,” said the director of
football. “Hopefully we’ll reflect back on the summer of 2011 –
which was crucial, we knew that – and then we’ll be happy with the
work we’ve done.” While the departures of the likes of Christian
Poulsen, Joe Cole and David Ngog was expected the late transfer of
Raul Meireles to Chelsea minutes before the deadline closed came as
something of a surprise. The Portugal international, who was at
Anfield only 12 months, has since claimed he had not planned on
leaving and was told he had to hand in a written transfer request
after hearing of the Londoners’ interest. Liverpool, for their
part, were not planning to sell him but when the situation arose
with the end of the window looming both there was an agreement
reached which suited both parties. “Basically he came to see me and
said ‘I want to leave, I want to play for another club’,” Comolli
told liverpoolfc.tv. “Our intention was not to sell him but we were
put in a corner a little bit when he put in a transfer request and
said he wanted to go and that he didn’t want to play for Liverpool
any more. “I think the owners and Kenny have said it, and we all
have the same view. When someone doesn’t want to be here it’s
difficult to say ‘You are going to stay’. “We’ve been through that
process in January with Fernando Torres (who also went to Chelsea)
and this felt like the same situation. “We think it was the right
thing to do for the club, because it’s very difficult to have
somebody here who doesn’t want to be here. “The job of the manager
in the Premier League is already difficult having to manage 25
players and only having 11 to start on a match day, so you have to
deal with all the others. “If you have someone who is adamant they
don’t want to be here and wants to play for someone else we took
the view it’s better if he goes and we get the best possible deal
for the club. “In the end I think we did well.”