Brendan Rodgers wants to sign “hungry” players to maintain title push

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Brendan Rodgers says his main ambition for the imminent future is to ensure Liverpool build on finishing second in the Premier League.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 11, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers after the final game of the season, a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United, during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Brendan Rodgers after the final game of the season, a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United, during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After the Reds’ two other previous occasions of finishing second, in 2002 and 2009, under Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez respectively, they have failed to progress and suffered because of it.

The Reds slumped to fifth in the league table by the end of 2002/03, missing out on Champions League qualification.

A transfer window bringing in the likes of Bruno Cheyrou, El Hadji Diouf and Salif Diao hadn’t helped.

Likewise in 2009, when Benitez’s Liverpool finished second behind Manchester United, despite the £17.5 million signing of Glen Johnson, Alberto Aquilani and Sotirios Kyrgiakos failed to inspire progress.

Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa also left Anfield that summer for Real Madrid and the Reds finished seventh in 2009/10.

Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo on Friday that he plans to bring in “hungry” players with ambition to achieve great things.

“What we do need to do to ensure we kick on. We need to ensure we continue with our thinking in terms of the types of players we’re going to bring in,” he said.

“We want to bring in players who are hungry. They must have the ambition to want to come in and succeed here.

“We need players who there can be no doubts about their quality.”

Liverpool will be hoping their new status in the Champions League will help them attract a higher calibre of player — having lost out on the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Willian and Mohamed Salah to Champions League clubs in the last two transfer windows.

Rodgers says he hopes to create a squad capable of challenging for both the Premier League and Champions League next season.

He added, “We’re in a position now where we’re going straight into the group stage of the Champions League and we’re going into the Premier League next season with an expectation and a belief that we can win the league.

“We need players that have those qualities. That belief, players who are willing to improve and who are hungry to improve themselves.

“If we can get a number of signings with that profile then we can go on and build on last season.”

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Rodgers has already brought in England striker Rickie Lambert from Southampton and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can will officially join next week.

The Northern Irishman admitted there will be a big shift in the squad this summer.

He said, “This year the squad will change around. We will need to change the team regularly over the course of the season in order to keep the efficiency and the energy in the team.

“Those players who are coming in need to be capable starters. They have to be to the level that we require to perform. That is absolutely key for us this summer.”

Who do you want to see Liverpool sign to improve the first-team and squad? Let us know your ideal transfer targets in the comments section below.

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