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Why Liverpool MUST buy British this summer

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It is a crucial period in the transfer market for Liverpool Football Club, a second successive season without Champions League football looms and the pre-season targets have changed from title challenges to what now seems an audacious attempt in overhauling the elite top four in England. The financial strength of Manchester City, Chelsea, self sustained Arsenal and of course Manchester United have moved further away from the chasing pack. The rumour of new personnel set to move to Anfield next season has been rife, but the failings of previous regimes means the Reds must now act fast yet diligently to get back into the so called ‘Top Four’.

It is the revitalised and resurgent Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish, who have been linked with many of the Premier League’s young and surprisingly British players in the transfer market. The Reds have had a torrid time in the past decade with over 121 players being bought in by both Gerard Houllier (38) and Rafael Benitez (83). Both of whom chose to turn their attentions to their respective homelands in France and Spain to buy players.

Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson and Blackburn Rovers’ Phil Jones have been highlighted by the British media as Liverpool’s top targets, with a reputed £30m double signing for the pair. Blackpool’s Charlie Adam has been linked with just about every Premier League club including Liverpool and the Reds continue to monitor Villa’s Ashley Young and Wigan’s James McCarthy. It appears Dalglish intends to restore the British tradition to one of England’s most decorated clubs.

This would come as no surprise to Blackburn Rovers fans, who under Dalglish from 1991-1995 saw the Scot bring in a core contingent of British talent from the likes of England goalkeeper Tim Flowers, David Batty and Chris Sutton. It was a model which would in time prove successful, as Rovers ended an 81 year wait by winning the Premier League in 1995. Liverpool fans must take heart from the club legend’s ability to find, produce and develop players.

The signing of Andy Carroll in January 2011 for £35m from Newcastle United has earmarked a shift in the transfer policy at Liverpool Football Club. The recruitment of Damien Comolli, the ex Spurs scout to support Dalglish can only be a positive signing for a club that has spent far too much money in recent years on quantity rather then quality. But it is important to note – Mr Dalglish signed a certain Alan Shearer for Blackburn Rovers in 1992, and the former England captain went onto score 112 goals in 138 appearances – so the omen of buying British is very much one that can prove successful.

The most successful sides in England this season have been built around home-grown talent, Champions Manchester United have used 14 British players in all competitions this season, with FA Cup winners Manchester City able to call on the likes of England number one Joe Hart, Adam Johnson, Gareth Barry and James Milner. Both Arsenal and Chelsea have blooded youngsters in Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Josh McEachern to mention a few.

The problem for Liverpool is the best of the rest seem to have got stronger, Tottenham have brought through youngsters so too have Aston Villa and before Dalglish took over in January 2011, the Reds had not even considered using 18 year old full back John Flanagan or 19 year old Jonjo Shelvey, two youngsters who have gone onto feature in all of Dalglish’s games in charge and right back Flanagan in particular started the last seven games. Midfielder Jay Spearing and defender Martin Kelly have too enjoyed regular spells in the first team.

It is a pivotal time for the Reds, with new ownership and money to spend, Kenny Dalglish must continue to utilise the resurgent impact of his youngsters as well as buying the right blend of British talent. It is the spirit and adaptability of British talent which has been missing from Liverpool Football Club in the past decade, and with the 2011/2012 season marking 22 years without a league title, a change in attitude in the transfer market under Kenny Dalglish would appear to be the most suitable option in developing not only a challenge against the likes of Manchester United but also enforcing a legacy of home grown and British players which can continue to compete at the top level of European football.

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21 comments

  • SuaRed says:

    One of the better article I’ve read in a while!

    Well done

  • corballyred says:

    Rubbish, buy british my hat and what pay the massively ridiculous inflated fees that you have to pay. Anyway English players are massively over rated and technically limited. Your not an English football agent are you

  • Shaz says:

    Good article, but I think it should not only be BRITISH. Even Man United has Hernandez and Chelsea has others; Man City has Tevez and etc, etc. If British is the only way to go then the way we supported Torres and now Suarez is just so so hypocritical. So Kuyt and Lucas and Maxi are not well received at LFC??
    Its not the players, but the managers also had a stake at it.
    If we could buy Lionel Messi would we refuse??

  • Peter says:

    I would be a disaster if Liverpool decide to buy avarage british players. Who is the best 5 british players liverpool have bought the last 10 years?

  • Old Timer says:

    RUBBISH! Liverpool MUST buy only the best they can get regardless of nationality, and English do tend to be both too expensive and not good enough. For example, given the choice between Downing, Hazard, Afellay or Sanchez, who in their right mind would choose Downing? Following the English arguement given, then Kenny should sell Spanish Reina and buy some English Goalkeeper, or let us sell Suarez and Kuyt and bring in some other English players.Obviously, quality is more important than being Enlish

  • Michael says:

    Some valid points although buying in British talent is expensive i.e Carroll for 35m and Henderson will be about 18-20m when he’s barely worth 10m.

    In some instances abroad is best (and generally cheaper). Hernandez is a good example although rare.

    However I agree with bringing through youngsters already at the club. Like you said a lot of teams who have had good seasons have had a British core. Arguably Newcastle’s two best players were Nolan and Barton (Carroll too before sale).

  • reikirebel says:

    I took from this article, that we would buy more british then in the past … based on that assumption, I agree with this article.

    The reasons are clear … I believe a PL team with a core UK base will have a better chance at success in the PL .. don’t forget we already have players from around the world so to add a few more brits seems to make sense.
    We also have the new squad rulings which r aimed at a balanced set of players including homegrown.

    Man u are a good example, look at the number of 1st team players from the UK .. although thats changing a bit due to a few retirements..

    Lets say focused on a winning mentality and not be to quick to judge the summer transfers …

  • ynwa says:

    This is total CR*P, buy british?, are you serious?? you must NOT be a Liverpool fan if you think that!.I totally agree with the above, PETER, buying british would be a total disaster!.

    Only non Liverpool fans and the corrupt Media would want Liverpool to buy british!!!.

  • Old Timer says:

    Based on your proposition, you must be praying Liverpool are not stupid enough to buy the likes of Aguero, Mata, Hazard, MVila, Matuidi or Aly Sissokho, as Kenny could not make a top class team having such foreigners! Better he buys some English players????? What RUBBISH!!! Hope the powers at Liverpool have more sense than you do!

  • ynwa says:

    Josh Hoare…..You are totally ‘Out of touch’ in the 70’s and 80’s I might have agreed with you, but NOT now. Answer me this, who has the most british players in their team?, BIRMINGHAM, BLACKPOOL,WEST HAM? (all three relegated), or MANCHESTER U, CHELSEA, MANCHESTER CITY ?, (Top three. If you must write, post something that makes some sense, in the future!!!.

  • koper says:

    Too inflated fees… i would rather spend that 18 milion on Mata than on Henderson.

  • richard says:

    what a load of rubbish, arsenal play more foreigners than us utds highest scorers berb and hernandez their captain cant speak english. chelsea,s best players are drogba,cech,essien. lfc have plenty of british talent in their ranks with stevie g ,carra , spearing,flanno,kelly,robinson and carroll. as for the buy british brigade think meireless kuyt,skrtel played every minute of every game in the prem and not forgetting luis suarez if we just bought british under kenny we would not of dug up that little diamond. its best to mix british grit with foreign flair YNWA

  • well i’ve already knows that these past season will be the end of lfc coming upto 6pos.on the prem.leag.table,why because how can a club that want to compete for trophy or want to be one of the top 4 team want to parade only the players from that country,maybe kenny want to turn lfc to national team for british then they should sale other foreigners out lfc,but kenny should knows that all these british setup are not good as other players from spain -uruguay-argentina-brazil-portugal,just few what a selfish mind,then a british men suposed to buy lfc from gillett and co.

  • Voland says:

    Buying the best players from an ability and character point of view is obviously the right strategy, on the other hand the team must gel and for this to happen culture may play an important role. Rafa’s teams gelled with a strong Spanish core combined with two of Liverpool’s very best home-produced talents (Gerrard and Carragher); Dalglish and Comolli must now find their own formula for the team to play as one and fight like Rafa’s teams (and Liverpool’s teams of old) did.

  • jon says:

    The notion of buy British when the evidence on the ground does not point to that seem a bit presumptuous.
    Many commentators seem to want to focus more on the Andy Carrol’s January purchase as something akin to buying British but seem to overlook the fact that in January, Suarez also came in and last time I checked he was not British therefore 50% of January transfer was non British. The club is also being equally strongly linked to Hazard, Mata, Nzgobia who are non Brits if I may add just as much as the club is being linked to the Brits namely Young, Downing and Henderson. This hardly represents a policy shift targeted nationality but rather towards players that improve the team. Citing Dalglish’s record at Blackburn from 1999-95 of targeting mainly Brits in an era where the majority of players were actually Brits does not really shed light on what is happening now were the opposite is true. Just my two cents.

  • shane chua says:

    there is something tt the latin can’t provide.

    LOYALTY and MOTIVATION.

    as a local lad, you grow up worshipping the likes of man utd and liverpool. not real madrid or barcelona… just ask ronaldo and mascherano.

    as a local lad, chances are you would put the EPL above CL, or even e UEFA cup. just ask houllier and rafa.

    i definitely wouldn’t mind the inflated fee. we badly need it, i’ve stressed that for a decade as well.

    no matter how kenny fares, he will hv my respect for the rest of my life. becos, liverpool is my life

  • Davie says:

    I have to agree partially on this.I remember the days when LFC was mostly made up from Scottish Irish & Welsh players thats when we were at the top.Footballs changed so much i mean weres the Scottish talent nowadays? Charlie Adam is the only player that sticks out from Scotland & theres doubts about him. We need players with talent and grit & mostly importantly Quality regardless were the come from.Why pay over the odds for Brittish players 35 million for Andy Carrol was a joke.

  • Blindside says:

    Total rubbish article. The rules DO NOT state players must be nationals. The rules are that they ARE homegrown from national academies.LFC have a preponderance of such players as it is. We DO NOT need to exhaust resources on over-priced mediocrities on the UK market. These offers are SO GOOD you notice yet no foreign outfits are the least bit interested in them – says all!

  • rich says:

    people make starnge comments like forign talent is better.for the money. well yes that is true. market forces dictate that british are more expensive.

    the top clubs in england (the ones that win stuff) buy british, they pay for the loyality , they are not as much of a gamble. teams like arsernal get the cheap foriogn talent and cant win a thing, no discipline, no motivation and they all flock like ducks in winter when they want to fullfill there dreams in spain.

    you get what you pay for in everything, and this is never truer than in football.

    you need a uk core, for loyality. united are the team every other club needs to aspire to, there success is all to do with uk talent and they have just bolstered it showing there intent for the future. Man city are the only team that is competing on that scale and following the benchmark. Other teams cant afford it , so have to gamble on cheap forigners, so i suppose we canty balme them for not buying british, they cant afford it!

    Forign teams wont buy british in drooves because offcourse, british cores wont work in spainetc,
    1. they need spainish cores in spain, or germany– do you get that point- its very simple.
    2. they want cheap forign talent, just like we in britain do.- brits arnt cheap, thats due to our market forces here, to bring a forigner in that is a risk therefore the forigner has to be cheaper.
    1. there just isnt enough good brits to go around.
    2. we pay the best wages in the prem.
    so the ones that are great/good enough, are inflated, but thats not due to the media, or our perceived inflated quality, but market forces.

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