Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits he is still keen to clear out more deadwood from his squad as he tries to breathe new life into the underachieving Reds.
Since succeeding Rafael Benitez at Anfield during the close season, Hodgson has weeded out several players who had failed to deliver on Merseyside.
He has moved on Alberto Aquilani, Emiliano Insua, Albert Riera, Diego Cavalieri, Philipp Degen, Nabil El Zhar, Krisztian Nemeth and Damien Plessis on either loans or permanent transfers.
By way of replacements, Hodgson has brought in Joe Cole, Paul Konchesky, Brad Jones, Danny Wilson, Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles.
Hodgson wants a leaner, more competitive group where no-one is allowed to tread water and that will mean further exits as he continues to put his stamp on a club who finished a disappointing seventh in the Premier League last term.
“We were unbelievably over-staffed when I came to the club and, if the truth be known, we still are over-staffed,” Hodgson said.
“It was just as big a job making sure some of the players who never feature for the first team move on and that we limit our squad to players who are either in the frame to play first-team football or who have a bright future, who are still anxious to play academy and reserve team football.
“We don’t want that middle group who are too old for reserve football but are not serving any purpose for the first team because they never feature.”
Hodgson also revealed that the deal to sign Konchesky from his former club Fulham only went through because the left-back made it clear he would run down his contract and leave on a free transfer if the Cottagers didn’t sell him to Liverpool.
“It was difficult because Fulham were anxious to keep him and were against letting him go,” Hodgson said.
“Our good fortune was he was in the last year of his contract and he made it clear that if they didn’t let him go he wouldn’t sign a new contract.
“That was useful for us because otherwise it would have been very difficult to get him.
“There aren’t many quality left-backs around in the world, never mind in England, so to find an English one who can go straight into the team without any adjustment problems is a big advantage.”
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