Liverpool owner pledges to strengthen squad
Liverpool owner John Henry pledged Friday to strengthen his
squad rather than allow top players to leave as English football’s
most successful club struggles in the Premier League.
Spain striker Fernando Torres is constantly linked with a
departure from Anfield, while manager Roy Hodgson has warned
Manchester United that goalkeeper Pepe Reina is not for sale after
reportedly being a transfer target.
Henry, whose New England Sports Ventures bought Liverpool from
Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. earlier this month, is focused on
rebuilding a team struggling after its worst start to a season in
more than 50 years with only two wins from nine matches.
”Our clear focus from Day 1 of our ownership has been and will
be to improve the club and focus on what it will take to put
Liverpool FC consistently in a position to challenge for
trophies,” Henry said in a NESV statement. ”We intend to build
this club the right way. Stories about our top players leaving are
destructive and unwarranted, but we realize that this kind of
speculation is also common.
”We intend to build on the strength of the current squad, not
undermine it. And I can reassure our supporters that we have no
intention of allowing the team to be weakened going forward.”
Henry’s investment group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, is
still determining its plans for the January transfer window.
”As everyone knows we are new to English football, but not to
sport, and we are studying all options,” Henry said.
”Opportunities and value will drive spending in January and in the
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson believes the club can rival
Europe’s heavyweights in the transfer market, despite its lowly
position in the Premier League.
”We have got to make certain that if we go out and spend 20
million pounds, we are getting a 20-million-pound player,” Hodgson
said. ”We want to be attracting the players that Barcelona, Real
Madrid and Inter (Milan) are chasing. It would be nice to think
that we can shop at a high level.
”We are going to be very interested in trying to improve our
squad in January. There is no question about that. I am sure we
will sign players.”