x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Liverpool owner defends transfer policy in open letter to supporters

John W Henry admitted the failure to land a replacement for Andy Carroll was disappointing, as manager Brendan Rodgers hints the club may turn to former hero Michael Owen to bolster front line.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers reveals his frustrations during his side's 2-0 loss to Arsenal.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers reveals his frustrations during his side's 2-0 loss to Arsenal.

John W Henry, the owner of Liverpool, has defended his club's transfer policy despite failing to land another striker during the transfer window.

Manager Brendan Rodgers revealed his unhappiness following the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal yesterday that he had not been able to replace Andy Carroll following his loan switch to West Ham.

But Henry, while admitted the club's disappointment at failing to get a new striker, said: "We will never place this club in the precarious position that we found it in when we took over at Anfield."

In an open letter to supporters on the Liverpool website, Henry - the business mogul and Boston Red Sox owner - insisted the club remained committed to Rodgers despite the club's worst start to a season in 50 years.

"A summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future - Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi - could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future," he wrote.

"Nor should anyone minimise the importance of keeping our best players during this window. We successfully retained Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Luis Suarez. We greatly appreciate their faith and belief in the club. And we successfully negotiated new, long-term contracts with Luis and with Martin.

"No one should doubt our commitment to the club. In Brendan Rodgers we have a talented young manager and we have valued highly his judgement about the make-up of the squad. This is a work in progress. It will take time for Brendan to instil his philosophy into the squad and build exactly what he needs for the long term."

Rodgers revealed after the Arsenal defeat he had been 'very confident' of landing a replacement for Carroll, and said he would not have sanctioned a move out of the club for the England international otherwise.

The club failed to land Clint Dempsey, who opted for a move to Tottenham, or secure a loan deal for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, leaving the Anfield side short of striking options until January.

But Henry insists that the club failure to land another striker was 'not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved'.

"Spending is not merely about buying talent. Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years. Our emphasis will be on developing our own players using the skills of an increasingly impressive coaching team…

"After almost two years at Anfield, we are close to having the system we need in place. The transfer window may not have been perfect but we are not just looking at the next 16 weeks until we can buy again: we are looking at the next 16 years and beyond.

"These are the first steps in restoring one of the world's great clubs to its proper status."

Rodgers admits he may turn to a potential free agent such as former Liverpool striker Michael Owen to bolster his forward options before the transfer window reopens in January.

Owen remains a free agent following his release from Manchester United at the end of last season, having failing to agree a move to Pro League side Al Shabab during the summer

"Any player I believe can improve the squad, I will look at," he said.

"We have a very small group. We had 19 training yesterday. It is something that would have to be discussed."

"There is no doubt the finances here had to be changed," he added. "That was the reality.

"We have lost nine players and brought in three. From a business side we have done well. What we have to do in the future is look after the football side."

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