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.”