Rodgers made Liverpool signings with eye on future
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claims his deadline day captures of centre-back pairing Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho will provide a solid foundation for the future.
During the last days of the summer transfer window, the Reds had a potential defensive crisis on their hands as Kolo Toure picked up an injury and Slovakian international Martin Skrtel was repeatedly linked with a move away from Anfield.
Rodgers acted decisively to allay these concerns however, signing Sakho for £16million and Ilori for £7million, ensuring he had plenty of options to choose from over the course of the season.
He said, as reported by the Guardian: “I wanted to try and protect the present and the future of the club.
“Good centre-halves are so hard to find. You look at some teams and they have ageing centre-halves because it is a struggle to get a really good one.
“We were fortunate in that two became available.
Moreover, with Ivorian international Toure nearing full fitness earlier than expected and Skrtel staying put on Merseyside (and impressing during the win against Manchester United) Liverpool look to have one of the strongest defences in the Premier League.
This new found strength in depth could mean new boys Ilori and Sakho may have to wait their turn, as the partnership of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel have yet to concede this term.
Statistically speaking, the Merseysiders appear to have made two intelligent acquisitions.
Sakho, 23, has already played over 100 times for previous club Paris Saint-Germain scoring seven times, making him experienced beyond his years, according to Rodgers.
He added: “Sakho is 23 but he is an experienced player, he has senior international caps and looks an absolute monster in training.
“He is one who is ready for now and that is what we want. We had a chance to protect the club for maybe the next 10 years and that is what we have done.”
The Frenchman has made 14 appearances already for the French national team; thus along with his impressive domestic record, perhaps the Liver birds have bought a defender who could be a world class footballer in the near future.
Portuguese centre-half Ilori, on the other hand, is a more raw talent, aged only 20 and having played only two seasons at senior level for former club Sporting Lisbon.
But despite his lack of years and experience, the young defender has all the physical attributes necessary to become a mainstay in the premier league, which Rodgers has recognised.
He continued: “He is 6ft 3in, super quick, powerful, can jump.
“He just needs to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.”