Hodgson happy with transfer business

BY foxsports • September 9, 2010

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has expressed his satisfaction at building a balanced squad before the transfer deadline closed.

Having lost Javier Mascherano to Barcelona and allowed Alberto Aquilani to join Juventus on loan, the Liverpool manager admits it was important to strengthen in midfield.

Hodgson was therefore delighted to land versatile Portugal international Raul Meireles, who will bolster this area along with fellow new recruit Christian Poulsen.

Meireles has never played club football outside his homeland before but Hodgson is confident he will be successful in the Premier League once he adjusts to his new surroundings.

"It was important to sign a quality midfielder when we lost Javier," Hodgson told the club's official website.

"We had half prepared for his departure by jumping in to sign Christian Poulsen when he became available, but it was important for us to keep strong in that area.

"We loaned out Alberto Aquilani and so we are pleased to have been able to bring in Meireles. He is experienced in the Champions League, in international football and has had proven success at Porto.

"He is an all-round midfielder who is capable of playing in all three of the central midfield positions.

"He has a pedigree which we researched, followed and studied. I followed him at my previous club so it was good when I heard he could be available and that we could do the business quickly.

"He has played a lot of international football so settling into the English game won't be a major problem.

"Our public are sensible people and they realise that having played all of his career in Portugal, it may take a bit of time.

"He will adjust, but whether it's from the first moment we'll have to wait and see."

Paul Konchesky was another player to arrive late in the window after the Reds struck a deal with Hodgson's former club Fulham for the left-back.

The experienced manager believes the addition of the 29-year-old is a major coup for Liverpool.

"It was difficult because Fulham were anxious to keep him and were against letting him go," he said.

"Our good fortune was he was in the last year of his contract and he made it clear that if they didn't let him go he wouldn't sign a new contract. That was useful for us because otherwise it would have been very difficult to get him.

"There aren't many quality left-backs around in the world, never mind in England - so to find an English one who can go straight into the team without any adjustment problems is a big advantage.

"He is a player I know, a player I have worked with and he knows the way we try to play and the things we try to do.

"That's another little advantage, but the main reason for bringing him here is because we think he's a good player and he's the right man for the job."

Hodgson is pleased with the options now at his disposal and has saluted managing director Christian Purslow and chief scout Eduardo Macia for their help at a busy time.

"We should be very happy," he said. "A lot of hard work has gone in and you have to mention Christian Purslow and Eduardo Macia, who both worked really hard during the transfer window to do the deals I wanted to happen but also to do deals for quite a few players to leave the club.

"We were unbelievably overstaffed when I came to the club and, if the truth be known, we still are overstaffed.

"It was just as big a job making sure some of the players who never feature for the first team move on and that we limit our squad to players who are either in the frame to play first-team football or who have a bright future who are still anxious to play academy and reserve team football.

"We don't want that middle group who are too old for reserve football but are not serving any purpose for the first team because they never feature."

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