Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Ayre highlights Reds' balance

Ian Ayre, pictured, has hailed the balance of Brendan Rodgers' squad

Managing director Ian Ayre believes Liverpool have the best balance of any team in the Barclays Premier League.

Ayre cited the mix of club stalwarts Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, world-class stars like Luis Suarez and rising young talents including Raheem Sterling. Liverpool again seem unlikely to break into the Champions League places this season, with Brendan Rodgers' side currently lying eighth in the table, nine points adrift of the top four.

The Reds' relative lack of success on the field has prompted speculation about the future of some of their big-name players and Ayre told the Liverpool Echo: "Of course we have to progress to be able to hang on to our world-class talent. You need to have a mix in your squad and we have probably got the best balance in terms of any team in the league."

He added: "We've got people who understand what this club really means and have enjoyed success here. We've got young players breaking through, learning and getting experience from them.

"Then we've got international players like Luis Suarez who could be playing anywhere in the world - but he's playing at Liverpool FC.

"We will continue to add to the group and improve it. Daniel Sturridge signed recently and has made an immediate impact.

"We may or may not add to that further before the end of January. That's something we're still working on and considering. We will only buy when the right deal is there at the right time."

Sturridge became the first big mover of the January transfer window when he left Chelsea to join Liverpool for a fee believed to be around £12million.

Buying the 23-year-old fitted with the Reds' policy of recruiting players under 24, but Ayre insists older players are not off limits if they would be a good fit for the club.

He said: "It's not a policy which is set in stone but it's an aspiration. If we feel there's a particular position or player who can contribute to the group and is over that sort of age limit, it doesn't mean we won't consider that player."

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