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Ayre: Youth policy won't ignore experienced players
, Wed 16/01/13 at 14:27
Sticking to Liverpool's policy of recruiting young talent will not prevent Brendan Rodgers bringing experienced players to Anfield, according managing director Ian Ayre.
Fenway Sports Group (FSG), Liverpool's American owner, has a well documented policy of seeking out talented players, less than 24 years old, as they have a longer shelf life and higher sell on potential.
Ayre told the Liverpool Echo, the policy was not 'set in stone' after skipper Steven Gerrard warned against ignoring more established players and reminded fans of the contribution Gary McAllister made to the club after joining in 2000 at the age of 35.
The MD restated the importance of young talent if the club is to have long term success but 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.
"As everyone saw in the summer we renewed deals with many of our senior player. So experience is vital and we will consider more experienced players where it makes sense."
Since taking over at the helm, Rodgers has signed Fabio Borini (21), Joe Allen (22), Samed Yesil (18), Oussama Assaidi, (24) and Daniel Sturridge (23). He also brought in Nuri Sahin (23) on loan.
Ayre claimed Liverpool have the best youth/experience balance of any team in the league.
"Our two most senior players have spent their whole careers at this football club," he said, "At the lower end we have a bunch of five or six very young players who have come through our Academy process and are now contributing for the first team.
"Then in the middle of that we've got world class international players like Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Pepe Reina and Lucas Leiva etc. That's the right mix I think.
"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."
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