Despite only being officially in the job since June 1st, Brendan Rodgers has already started to stamp his authority at Anfield.
Having already appointed Dave Fellows from City as their new head of scouting and recruitment, Liverpool have stolen another talent from Eastlands with the hiring of chief scout Barry Hunter according to the Mirror
Rodgers must be looking forward to reuniting with his former colleague (both previously worked together at Reading) as he seeks to build his backroom staff without a director of football. Serving as a specialist for Roberto Mancini in the Italian, Swiss and Russian markets, Hunter’s talents will certainly bolster Liverpool’s scouting and development team.
The introduction of Hunter sees a significant statement on the direction that Liverpool will take this season. Having spent a combined £136 million in two seasons since 2010, times are financially hard at Anfield this summer. Although some money should be available for Rodgers to build his own squad there won’t be room for the Irishman to purchase players on a whim or spend big on big names.
The scouting roles of Hunter and Fellows will be all the more important this season as Liverpool look for hidden gems or youthful prospects in this upcoming transfer window.
In addition, Hunter and Fellows both have experience in the scouting and development of youth players. Their ability to add to a historically successful Liverpool academy is simply another string to their bow – Liverpool desperately seeks a successor to their talisman Steven Gerrard and if he can be local then it would be even sweeter.
Hiring Fellows and Hunter is a shrewd move by Rodgers, Liverpool and the Fenway Sports Group as they aim to reduce their transfer outlay. Yet it is their ability to find young prospects that should be most exciting for Liverpool fans.
With the exception of Chelsea and Manchester City, the general rule that success cannot be bought in football still remains – Barcelona’s youth academy speaks for itself, whilst closer to home Manchester United still relies heavily on young players be they British or imports.
As Liverpool (like many) will struggle to keep up with City’s spending, the best way to counter them is to develop their own talent. Hunter and Fellows give the Reds the ability to do this, scouting players at the grass roots level in Britain as well as abroad. With these signings Rodgers could be on the verge of rejuvenating Anfield from the freer spending days of Roy Hodgson, Rafael Benitez and Kenny Dalglish.
In the Rodgers’ era at Liverpool scouting is taking priority over spending, a move that should not only be applauded and operated at Anfield but around the rest of league.
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