When Fenway Sports Group took charge of Liverpool football club in 2010, John Henry outlined his plans for the club and explained how he aims to take Liverpool back to where they belong.
One of the key features of FSG’ plan was to recruit young and talented players who are hungry to succeed at the highest level and won’t cost the club ridiculous amounts of money.
It is no secret that Liverpool are in no position to match the financial muscle of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United or even Arsenal and therefore it is important to devise a strategy that will help the club progress effectively within its means, while challenging for trophies simultaneously.
FSG’ strategy was further highlighted in their recruitment of a young and hungry manager in Brendan Rodgers. Over the last four years, several questions have been raised against Liverpool’s new philosophy and the owners’ reluctance to splash out on world class names.
However, new signings Sturridge, Coutinho, Sakho, Can, Moreno – players who fit FSG’s ‘profile’, have been quite impressive since their moves to Liverpool. But then again, no strategy in football can yield a hundred percent success rate. For every Coutinho and Sturridge, there have been the likes of Borini and Alberto.
Just like every coin has two sides, there are believers and doubters as far as Liverpool’s plan is considered.
Recently Brendan Rodgers stated that new signing Emre Can perfectly embodies Liverpool’s model and how the club aims to develop talented youngsters into world beaters, who will then guide the club to trophies over the years. For FSG, it has never been about instant success, it is about winning in a certain way that helps you sustain that success, without threatening the existence of the club.
“I think £10million will prove to be a bargain for Emre,” Rodgers told the ECHO.
“That’s the nature of the model here. We look to bring in players who we can develop.
“Look at Daniel Sturridge. We bought him for £12million. What would Daniel be worth now?
“Philippe Coutinho, £8million, what’s his value? What would Raheem Sterling be worth?
“They come into a real coaching environment here and it’s my job to make them better players. That’s all you can do as a coach and a manager and then the performances will follow.
“Emre is a big talent. He’s also a great learner and very good tactically for a young player. He has a big future ahead of him”, said Rodgers.
The German midfielder is slowly becoming a fan favorite at Anfield with his impressive displays in the defence as well as the midfield. Whether it is a combative central midfielder with bags of energy and flair or an aggressive defender setting the tempo from the back, Emre Can has come up trumps everytime he has been called upon.
Still only 21, Can has a massive room for improvement and for the money he cost, he is already proving to be a huge bargain for Rodgers and Liverpool. FSG’s policy has always been to invest in potential as opposed to proven talent and Emre Can is one of those players who has shown that the philosophy can not only work, but flourish.
Further Rodgers also reflected what an outstanding job the scouts have done to make the transfer possible and how he convinced the young midfielder that Liverpool would be the right place for him to develop.
“Emre had been on the radar for a while,” he said.
“The scouts did a great job identifying him as a potential young player who could come in and develop here.
“I travelled to Germany a few times last year with (chief scout) Barry Hunter to have a look at him.
“A lot of work went on behind the scenes. He was a top young talent coming through the system in Germany. He was always one who was leading the challenge and being pushed on.
“Look at his pedigree, Bayern Munich was a great place to start. He only left there because he was a young player who wanted to go out and play.
“Once I had travelled to Germany to sell this whole project then after that his people were pretty clear that he wanted to come.”
If FSG can continue to find gems like Can, Sturridge, Coutinho and help Rodgers develop them, like they have been doing so far, there is little doubt that their philosophy will be a glowing success.