Brendan Rodgers has defended his £23.6million investment in Adam Lallana and insisted Liverpool have not paid over the odds for the England midfielder.
Lallana officially started his Liverpool career this week in Boston and has made an immediate impression on the training pitches at Harvard University with his slick use of the ball and willingness to embrace hard work.
Rodgers is thrilled with how quickly the 26-year-old has settled down and — having put such an emphasis on signing Lallana from Southampton — is adamant he will make a difference as Liverpool aim to build on last season’s promise and progress without Luis Suarez.
For all that, the size of Lallana’s fee has been scrutinised, not least because Real Madrid only paid £1m more to take World Cup winner Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich.Rodgers, however, believes Lallana will prove his value,maintaining Liverpool were not held to ransom in negotiations.
‘For British players across the board there is always that premium and the value is always pushed up,’ said Rodgers, whose side played the first game of their American tour against Roma in the early hours of this morning. ‘We paid what we thought he was worth and would not go higher.
‘Listen, I spoke to enough people about him and have seen enough of him — and know enough people who had seen him and played with him — to know he would be a great signing for us. I have no qualms about it. He is a great boy.
‘The types of players we bring in will have the profile of what we want, so the transition should be smooth. Of course, it will be strange for them at times coming into a new team, but you see it with Adam straight away — he presses for the ball when he does not have it and has beautiful balance.
‘He can score goals and create goals. He is a wonderful footballer. I have been impressed by his mentality and character. Was he our main signing? They are all big signings as they will all make a big contribution. I need them to do that with being in the Champions League this year.’
So far Lallana has been one of five new arrivals but there will be more to come, with Loic Remy’s £8.5m switch from QPR expected to be made official today. Liverpool’s confidence is mounting that they will also land Southampton’s £20m defender Dejan Lovren.Once Rodgers completes his overhaul, he will have paid out more than £100m.
It means Liverpool’s performances will be put under the microscope just as Tottenham were dissected 12 months ago after investing a similar amount following the sale of Gareth Bale.Such a major outlay invites pressure but that does not unsettle Rodgers.
He argues his spending has been responsible and explains there is a plan to what Liverpool have done; some fans on Merseyside have clamoured for him to sign a ‘big’ name but he isn’t a manager who will spend for the sake of it.
‘I have always said, at every club I’ve been at, the club’s money is my money,’ said Rodgers.
‘I’m there to serve the club and run it the best I can on the field and work with the owners off it. They know I push for the best players and they gain the trust with how we work.
‘There is money available but we know spending money does not guarantee success. Last January everyone was crying out that we needed more signings. We never signed anyone. OK, we might have done one or two but it was not a major factor in us not winning (the title).
‘The players we’ve brought in were players we wanted anyway. It was well documented our squad last year was too thin so we needed to bring in players to get that level and depth up. Our signings are strategic. They are not just names. They all fit into the purpose of the team.‘If that means we do not spend all the money or the net spend is the same, then so be it. The character is important. It is not just about the player, but the right type of person.’ – Daily Mail