Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant that if the club wish to compete with the best in the Premier League, key players such as Luis Suarez must not be sold, highlighting the decision to offload Fernando Torres.
The Spain striker left Anfield for Chelsea in a £50 million move in January 2011 after scoring 55 Premier League goals for the Reds in just over three years, but Rodgers is certain they must not make a similar choice by letting Suarez leave.
So far this season the Uruguayan has grabbed seven goals in 10 league matches, making him the only Liverpool player to have scored more than twice, and although Rodgers can see that the club are obviously on a different footing financially from the big-spenders, he says they just have to work around that.
Speaking to reporters, Rodgers said: “It’s the task we face. I don’t know what happened with Torres, but times move on and we now have one of the best strikers in the world with Luis. We have to ensure we keep the best players like him.
“Of course, it is hard to compete with the money the big clubs have to spend on the big players. But we can’t just give up because we are not in the same financial league as other clubs. It is up to us to find a way of dealing with that.
“It’s a monumental task as the biggest clubs have the big money to buy the big players – they can make it so hard to compete.
“But it’s up to us as a club to add players that can help support Luis and move us on. I believe if you look at our starting 11, if we can add three players or so to the group, we will be very, very strong, we just need to add a few players who can finish off some of our great work.
“Maybe we have to approach finding those players in a different way, because we can’t out-compete others financially. If we can’t get an advantage by having all the money to spend to get the top player, we have to ensure we get someone who is hungry to come in and move us forward.
“It’s about finding other ways through our playing style, bringing young players through and finding players who haven’t worked out elsewhere. To put them into a philosophy and a style and that’s the thing that might give us an advantage.
“We are trying to build with this way of working.”
Ever since his arrival at Liverpool in the summer Rodgers has been building for the future, with a number of youngsters being given the chance to prove themselves, but the manager knows players of Suarez’s calibre have to be retained.
He continued: “Luis a world class talent, he’s up there in that one per cent bracket of world class strikers. There is no team in the world who would not want him in it.
“I wouldn’t swap him for any other right now, no. Not when I look at what he gives consistently.
“This is a guy whose energy is relentless – he is a defender’s nightmare.
“A lot of the time this season he has played the back four on his own. People are looking at Liverpool and thinking if they can control Suarez we might cut our threat.
“But they are still unable to do it.
“This is a player we can look to build around and make us a threat in other areas. And at this moment in time, I am safe in the knowledge that Luis had the chance to go in the summer, but chose to stay to give us an opportunity of seeing how it would work.
“There was probably no better time for him to do that, with a new manager coming in. He could have had an excuse to go but having spoken to him at length he committed to staying here.
“For him personally, it’s working out really well. He is in his most productive period, he’s scored 10 goals this season. It took him until February last season to get to that many.
“The way of working suits his style and it’s up to us as a club to keep moving forward and when you do that, top players want to be around.”