Director of Football Damien Comolli speaks about Charlie Adam, set pieces, transfer strategy and how he believes there will be plenty more comings and goings at Liverpool over the coming months.
How pleased are you to have completed this deal for Charlie Adam?
I'm very pleased. It's been a long chase since the end of January but we've always kept our interest because we knew he was a quality player. We knew he was very, very, very keen on coming here, he wanted to wear the Liverpool shirt. For Kenny, he was a priority and we've done everything we could to get him. We are delighted.
You alluded to this but it's been a bit of a saga. There must be an element of relief?
It was a bit of a saga. We're relieved because there were other buyers, other takers. But the fact is the player said to all the clubs that approached him that he wanted to join Liverpool. This made it easier for us to do the deal. It's a relief when you sign a player because it's a long process - and this one was even longer because it went over two transfer windows and six months.
You mention how Charlie has shown a real desire to join this club - how important is that for you?
It's important for two reasons. The first one is that you want players who want to come, you want players who want to play for the club, you want players who are committed. Then, from a more financial and business side, obviously when a player speaks to several clubs, inevitably the deal becomes more difficult. But in the case of Charlie it was very different because he basically said, 'I only want to play for Liverpool.'
When you and Kenny were scouting him - what made you think, 'This is the player for us'?
A little bit of everything. If you look at him physically, he's very impressive. He's got the power, the strength, the stamina, and then technically he's got an absolutely fantastic left foot. We were looking with Kenny at data on how well Blackpool did at set pieces last season. If you look at them, they are at the very top of the Premier League. That's another reason to bring in a player like this - he's going to bring a lot to us in the run of play but also set plays.
Set plays are so important in the Premier League these days, aren't they?
It's around 35 per cent of the goals, so the more we have players who can take set plays, the better. We know Jordan Henderson used to take all the set plays at Sunderland and do it well. Charlie was doing the same for Blackpool. I've just watched some of the highlights of some of the goals he scored from direct free-kicks. He's a complete package of a very modern midfield player who can do several things on the pitch. And he brings this left foot that we didn't have in midfield until now.
He was nominated for Player of the Season in 2010-11 - but have we seen the best of Charlie Adam yet? How much room is there for him to improve?
I think he can improve because with age comes experience. He had the first year in the Premier League, and with more experience he's going to understand the game in the Premier League more. Also, training on a daily basis with the quality of player we have here will stretch him as a player - physically, mentally and tactically. Training with the best helps you to become better - and I think that's what we're going to see.
Liverpool have been heavily linked with a lot of players. This is our second signing. How happy are you with how things are going in this transfer window?
We are very pleased because the two signings we've done were absolute priorities on our list. When you go into a transfer window you always have X number of targets, and it's very rare you get all of them. We're lucky we've got two of our priorities. That's good, and I'm sure there'll still be a lot of movement, especially going out but also, hopefully, a few more coming in.
There is a lot of talk in newspapers about our strategy in the transfer market - is there a strategy and, if so, what is it?
There is always a strategy. It's about players who we've identified through the year. You identify players in positions where you think you're weak or, if not weak, you think you can get better or add an extra body. There is a strategy in terms of profile of players we want to bring in: the mentality, the attitude, the work ethic - and the age is also a factor. People think about the citizenship and passport - but this doesn't really matter as much as what I've just said.