The summer transfer window hasn't officially started, but Liverpool have seemingly come out of the gates at a gallop, with strong links emerging to defensive targets and sensible--if sentimentally unfortunate--talk about the potential exits on tap. What hasn't been discussed openly yet is the willingness of the club's owners to oversee such moves, but today Tom Werner unequivocally backed Brendan Rodgers and asserted that the higher-ups are on board with strengthening the squad further in the coming window.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Werner was effusive in his praise of Rodgers, noting the manager's leadership qualities and citing the January additions as indicators that things are headed in a positive direction:
"I think Brendan has made remarkable progress. He's a great strategist and has shown strong leadership as he has led the team through this season. Obviously there is disappointment that we didn't finish higher in the table but the team has certainly improved as the season has gone on.
"To see the new additions in January, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, perform so well has been very positive to see. We scored a lot more goals than last season. The 38 away league goals was the club's highest number in a league season since 1990. The club is definitely moving in the right direction under Brendan. Our intention is to strengthen the squad further this summer and as owners we're very optimistic and excited about the future."
It's possible that hyperbole is somehow contagious; when one even talks about Brendan Rodgers it's mandatory to make a far-reaching proclamation about something that might be decent enough but probably isn't, in fact, remarkable. As usual, though, that's mostly just a distraction, and it's certainly not to say I disagree with Werner other than to turn it down from 11. I do think Liverpool are making progress, and the talk of the targets early this summer don't belie the owner's stated intentions.
There's a long time between now and September 1, but so far the talk around the club seems to mirror the owner's optimism and excitement. We'll see how long that lasts, and hopefully the tone manages to remain mostly the same as Liverpool start to prepare themselves for next season.