The first part of Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool puzzle: Gastón Ramírez

Gastón Ramírez in action for Bologna

When Kenny Dalglish splashed almost £100m on the best English talent on the market, he thought Liverpool were on to a winner. He believed that with the squad he had assembled that the once mighty Liverpool, could challenge for the Premier League title. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a shocking return on investment, and Dalglish was shown the door at Anfield.
The LFC board wanted a change in policy, and after dispatching of the two men who brought the likes of Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson to Merseyside for a combined fee of almost £60m - Kenny and Damien Comolli - they have started afresh with a young, unproven manager with a footballing philosophy similar to that of Barcelona. Of course as you would expect, Brendan Rodgers - who earned himself the LFC job after one season in the top flight with Swansea - wants to put his own stamp on the team. This means, that some players will leave Liverpool, and others will come through the door.

The first major signing under Rodgers seems like it will be Bologna youngster Gastón Ramírez for a pretty high fee close to £15m. The 21 year-old Uruguayan is highly thought of in Italy and from watching him this season; he’ll be a handful for any holding midfielders/defenders.

He has pace, trickery, a decent passing range, but more importantly - great vision, something Liverpool lacked big time last season. Gerrard, still has a few good deliveries left in him, but is declining as a footballer which is normal considering he peaked two or three years ago. Saying that, he can still offer Rodgers something, and former Reading boss will use him to his advantage as he has done with the likes of Leon Britton.

Gaston Ramirez celebrates after scoring for Bologna

Although the deal for Ramírez isn’t yet complete, it is expected that he will be a Liverpool player in the next few days, marking an exciting start to a new era under young Brendan Rodgers.
He’ll need time and patience if he is to implement his Swansea blueprint on a Liverpool squad that still belongs to a certain King Kenny. Given time, I have no doubt that he will establish Liverpool back among the Top 6 for a start, and perhaps in the next couple of years; make a stealthier challenge for the top 4 and maybe even the title. However, this is a project, and with any good project, it takes time to achieve desired results.

Have a look at Newcastle United under Alan Pardew. They are a model club, and Liverpool, have already copied one of their policies in player recruitment. No player over the age of 26 will be signed. At least for NUFC, the days of paying millions for someone looking to finish up their career, are well and truly over.

Instead, there is an investment in youth, and look how that has worked out for NUFC. A 5th place finish in only their second season back in the Premier League - leapfrogging Liverpool, indeed a Liverpool side that took their two best players the season previous: Andy Carroll and José Enrique.

Either way, it will be an interesting battle between Liverpool and Newcastle United next season. Will Pardew’s men go two steps ahead of the Merseyside outfit? Or will Rodgers restore pride to Liverpool with the signings of Ramírez and co.?

Comments welcome 🙂

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