LiverpoolFC.com: Ian, what’s your reaction to the news Liverpool Football Club have just made their first signing of the January transfer window in Daniel Sturridge?
Ayre: It was always going to be an important one. As we’ve said all along, the most important thing was to continue to strengthen the team — and clearly up front. Daniel is somebody we’ve always had in our sights and somebody the manager has had huge interest in right from the start.
I’m very pleased today that we’ve got the right player and the right deal. That’s what it’s always about. It was important to us that we did all of the work ahead of the transfer window in talking to Chelsea and the player and his representatives.
We made sure we did that so we could have him hit the ground running in January — and here we are today on the second and we’re all done and dusted, so we’ll look forward to seeing him in a Liverpool shirt and on the pitch.
LiverpoolFC.com: Just how important is it to get the business done early?
Ayre: Sometimes that’s not possible, but in this instance we’ve known all along we needed that bit more strength — and Daniel brings that. It was important to get it done so early in the window. You’d always like to do that because the transfer window in itself is a bit of a farce sometimes because of that crazy deadline that comes at the end of it. This was a very important one to get done early.
LiverpoolFC.com: How significant a signing is this considering the level of player that Daniel is?
Ayre: I think he fits all the profile of everything we’ve talked about in the past — a young player, a prolific talent and a prolific goalscorer in the position he plays in. We’ve always said we want to keep adding great talent to this team and squad.
It’s another great example of people showing their faith in the investment we’re making and the project that Brendan is undergoing. Every transfer window, we continue to add, improve the squad, improve the group and support the manager. We’ve seen the football get better and the squad get better. That’s got to continue and this is another step in that direction, but a very important one.
LiverpoolFC.com: Is work continuing behind the scenes to make this window even more successful than it has been?
Ayre: We always try to improve the squad. You can sit and make lists of what you’d like — what you’d like to do, what you’d like to come in and what you’d like to go out – but it doesn’t always work like that. It’s about having the right opportunities at the right time.
Daniel is somebody Brendan [Rodgers] identified in the summer, but it just wasn’t the right deal. Sometimes it’s right to wait, whether it’s Daniel or anyone else, and the same will apply through this transfer window. If the right opportunities present themselves for the right player at the right time, then we’ll do that business — but if it’s not the right deal or the right player, it won’t get done.
We’ll always do what’s best for the long-term interests of the club and we’ll always aim to improve the group – and I’m sure we’ll do that this January.
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