Rodgers "Looking Five Years Ahead"

Michael Regan

While on the pitch Brendan Rodgers may not be looking past Sunday's match against Chelsea, off the pitch he's looking at his plan for Liverpool over the next five years.

A handful of Premier League clubs will be looking for new managers this summer, and rather than vying for the top available names in the game along with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, and possibly even Arsenal, Liverpool are more than settled with Brendan Rodgers at the helm.

Rodgers is finishing his second of three years on his current deal, and for months now fans have been demanding that his contract be extended owing to the phenomenal job he's done with his squad, lest he be pried away by a European super club. But Rodgers himself isn't worried, as he has long term designs on his current club.

"As a manager, you know your value, your worth and that will always come into it," he said. "I feel valued at this football club. I came to Liverpool because I hoped it would be a destination rather than just a stop-off. I felt it had everything you want as a manager — to be at one of the world's leading clubs, to be allowed to develop it without interference and to have a great relationship with the owners."

Rodgers' success in building the team into a title-challenging squad in just two seasons surely plays a large role in the positive relationship he's built with FSG and the rope he's been given to run the team as he sees fit. Liverpool's neighbours down the M62 at Old Trafford are currently experiencing the opposite side of the coin, much to their poor fortune. Even with the long-term faith shown in offering a manager a lengthy contract, lacklustre results can still scupper a rebuilding project in a single season no matter who was in charge or whether or not that project was achievable in one year.

Rodgers does not have this problem, and it's a lovely position to be in. His success lets him think long term, well past the end of his current contract and even possibly past the end of his next contract too. It's not necessarily a mark of hubris — although some will take it as such — for him to be thinking so far into the future, so much as it's indicative of Rodgers' holistic approach to his club.

"We've still got a long way to go, but I'm looking five years ahead," Rodgers continued. "There's a real project there that I want to oversee. We already have a group of players who I hope will still be in the team in five years and that was always the idea.

"Joe Allen's 24, Jordan Henderson 23, Raheem Sterling 19, Jon Flanagan 21, Sakho's only 24, Mignolet 26, Daniel Sturridge 24. Luis Suarez is still only 27, Lucas is 27, Coutinho 21. And we obviously have the ones to come through as well."

Five years is a long time to predict any player stays at a club let alone a significant swath of your starting eleven, but it feels at least reasonably safe to suggest that those on Rodgers' youth-focused list will still be around come September 1. Start drafting your 2014/2015 fantasy league rosters.

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