Liverpool’s dismal League form has led to plenty of speculation surrounding the summer’s ins and outs at Anfield, with FSG reportedly keen to reduce the average age of the squad and not inflate the wage bill.
That means that with any new recruits, casualties will be required. Several outlets – The Telegraph, Daily Mail and Liverpool Echo – reported on Thursday that Dirk Kuyt (31), Maxi Rodriguez (31) and Fabio Aurelio (32) will all leave this summer.
Kuyt has expressed his frustrations at becoming a bit-part player and five years of being an Anfield regular. The Dutchman finally won a trophy his work has merited with the Carling Cup, but has been reduced to the bench – in favour of what most supporters see as an inferior, younger, British player, one being played out of position at that – Jordan Henderson.
Aurelio, the injury prone left-back, is out of contract after bizarrely being given a two-year deal by Roy Hodgson just weeks after being released by Rafa Benitez after a ‘pay as you play’ deal was rejected by the player. Cheers Roy.
Maxi has largely been frozen out by Kenny Dalglish despite some impressive performances and key goals when he has been included. Dalglish instead, again, persisting with expensive British signings of his own.
Ben Lyttleton, writing for Sports Illustrated last October, explained how Dalglish’s desire to reshape the Liverpool squad last summer hinged on a British core, something director of football Damien Comolli compromised on.
Those British signings last summer – Henderson, Adam, Downing, Bellamy – have proved hugely underwhelming. Only time will tell if Dalglish persists with replacing experienced players of the calibre of Kuyt and Maxi with inferior, unproven British talent.