Brendan Rodgers has just signed a new long-term contract that is believed to tie him to Liverpool until 2018.
It comes on the back of the club’s best Premier League season ever and the League Managers’ Association acknowledging Rodgers as their Manager of the Year.
The Northern Irishman has done a terrific job in producing an exciting, attack-minded side that has been a joy to watch. Virtually every individual in his team has improved under his tutelage.
But now comes the real test for Rodgers. Liverpool must buy players this summer and they must buy well. They have a Champions League campaign to negotiate so they’ll need a bigger squad for starters.
In the end they lost the title because they conceded too many goals, so it’s not rocket science to suggest that the priority is to strengthen the defence.
Despite the fact that they will have around £30m in extra revenue from UEFA’s coffers to go with the £97.5m they earned in Premier League prize money and TV fees this season, they can’t afford to squander money.
For all the good coaching work Rodgers has done over the last 12 months, there is still a question mark over the other crucial part of a manager’s job buying players.
That might seem a little churlish when you consider that he signed Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in his first year in charge.
But he didn’t have a good summer last time round.
He secured Kolo Toure on a free transfer, paid £7m for Iago Aspas, £6.5m for Luis Alberto and £7m for Tiago Ilori. He also brought in Victor Moses and Aly Cissokho on loan deals.
None of those players made a really significant contribution and the jury is still out on £15m Mamadou Sakho.
Of eight new players, only Simon Mignolet started more than half the league games and could be classed as an undisputed success.
Liverpool operate with a transfer committee, so the manager isn’t the only one to have a say in who comes in.
There’s a culture of collective responsibility but they will go down as being signed on Rodgers’ watch, as will this summer’s arrivals.
It’s his reputation on the line should the club get it wrong.
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