Henchoz: Liverpool have to gamble when making transfers

The former Reds defender says the lack of Champions League football means Brendan Rodgers will find it hard to attract top players, and believes he lost confidence in Jose Reina

Liverpool legend Stephane Henchoz believes that his former club's recent signings indicate that they are not able to compete for top signings in the transfer window anymore.

The Reds have let the likes of Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Jose Reina leave, while long-time stalwart Jamie Carragher has retired. In return, Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet, Luiz Alberto and Kolo Toure have arrived at Anfield.

In Singapore for the 2013 IG Masters Football Sixes press conference on Wednesday afternoon, the former Switzerland international discussed manager Brendan Rodgers's transfer policy with Goal Singapore after the event.

"Obviously the players they have let go are players who never really played at the standard required at Liverpool, so I think it’s the correct decision to let them go," Henchoz asserted.

"When you finish seventh in the league, it’s always difficult to attract players because the players want Champions League football.

"If you don’t play Champions League football then you have to take a gamble on players who are not top players yet and that’s the only way for Brendan Rodgers."

As such, Henchoz believes that Rodgers needs time to slowly shape the team into one that can challenge for honours again.

"He can bring in good players and I think he can improve them and their potential, and he can bring them back to the Champions League," the former Reds centreback said.

"Some of the players he just signed are players who you don’t really know much about [before they came]. You have to wait for five, six games when the season kicks off, and then see if they are really good enough for Liverpool."

While many supporters rued the loss of Reina to Napoli on a season-long loan, Henchoz could understand why the Spanish goalkeeper was allowed to leave.

"For the last two seasons, Reina has not been at his best," he pointed out.

"I think Liverpool conceded too many goals, that’s why Brendan Rodgers decided to make a change, which is why he changed the goalkeeper.

"He made a few mistakes and I think the manager lost confidence and he wanted a new number one."

Belgium international Mignolet, who was arguably one of the best custodians in the league last season, was signed for £9 milllion from Sunderland as a replacement but Henchoz warned that he would have to adapt quickly at Anfield.

"Mignolet played okay for Sunderland [last season] and showed that he could be good, but it's always something different when you play for Sunderland, which is a smaller club," he thoughtfully said.

"Playing for a big club [like Liverpool] is a lot of pressure; can he adapt? Can he step up to the challenge, which is performing every few days?"

With the "very important" presence of Carragher gone in the dressing room, Henchoz also concluded that Liverpool would likely have to bring in a couple more new players before the window closes, especially if Luis Suarez departs from the club.