'Martinez would be unable to lure top transfer targets to Liverpool' - Scales

Ex-Reds star feels Fenway Sports Group must think evolution not revolution if Wigan boss succeeds Kenny Dalglish & calls for a more experienced manager to take on "massive job"

By Rob Stewart

Former Liverpool defender John Scales fears his old club will be unable to attract top transfer targets if they appoint Roberto Martinez as their new manager.

Scales believes the Reds must adopt a long-term strategy for success if they hire Martinez, as the Wigan manager does not possess the clout to lure high-profile players to Merseyside who could make up for the club’s lack of Champions League football and make a "step-up" next season.

“If they are going to get back into the top four in the next season or two then they need a big name with a transfer budget to match to strengthen that team in the summer with some key acquisitions,” Scales told Goal.com.

“They will need to spend big and it is going to need a big name to attract those top players because Liverpool are outside the Champions League. It will need someone who would really buy into that vision.

“If it was a Martinez they are not going to be able to attract the really big names but they would have to take the club forward at a slightly slower rate and progress in a more gradual manner.”

Owners Fenway Sports Group spent some £120 million on new players during Dalglish’s ill-fated reign and Scales is convinced they must be prepared to splash out again when a new manager arrives.

“I do not think that the club is in a mess,” Scales continued. “I always like to think that the glass is half-full. It is a decent squad of players but it is clear for everyone to see that the squad needs strengthening and this season has proved that.

"Those players who have come in and been unfairly criticised to a degree must now realise that is something that comes with the territory.

“I know that from my days playing for Liverpool because it was a case of knowing that I had to perform or otherwise I would be out of the team. That is the nature of professional football at that level.

“You would be looking to compete with the likes of Spurs and Chelsea and Arsenal and so that is the next step-up. This Premier League season has been so competitive on so many levels because of the money that clubs are investing to move forward which shows how difficult it is to qualify for the Champions League.”

Martinez had a second interview for the position vacated last week when Dalglish was sacked and Scales warned that the successful applicant will have a challenging job on their hands to return Liverpool to a top-four place.

“The owners need to look at things very carefully and they are right to take their time over finding a new manager because it is such a big and important appointment and they will know they have to get it right,” he added.

“People like Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert have done very well but can they make the step-up and the transition to manage a club of Liverpool’s stature? Are they the right personalities to be able to deal and cope with everything that is Liverpool?

“If they are going to go for a bigger name they would be hoping that would be a safer pair of hands. So whoever gets the job will have a massive task on their hands and you would probably say that it should go to someone with more experience.”

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