Ian Rush: Liverpool have good options from the bench

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Ian Rush believes Liverpool have significantly improved their squad over the summer and now "have people on the bench who can come on and win you the game."

Brendan Rodgers worked hard during the summer transfer window and brought seven new faces to Anfield, spending over £70 million in the process.

The Reds finished a lacklustre sixth in the 2014/15 Premier League season and Rodgers recognised major improvements were needed if his side were to challenge for a top four finish this campaign.


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Liverpool’s bench over the past few seasons has been distinctly underwhelming and not enough substitutes were able to come on, when the chips where down and make a chief difference to matches.

Rodgers has now gathered himself a strong core squad, with Danny Ings one of many who is able to come off the bench and make an impact.

And Rush feels that Ings’ presence will be relished by Liverpool’s creative midfielders: "I think Liverpool have got people on the bench who can come on and win you the game now where maybe a couple of years ago we didn't have that," the Kop legend told Sky Sports.

"I watched Ings in pre-season and for me he is very clever with the way that he makes his runs. He plays off the shoulder of the defender and he makes his runs early.

"The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino, who could be playing alongside him, will see those runs and play him in. If you don't get the ball three or four times sometimes you can stop making the runs but Ings looks very sharp to me and I think he is good in the box as well."

Ings arrived at Liverpool this summer on a free transfer from Burnley after rejecting a new contract with Lancashire outfit. 

Ings netted 11 times for relegated Burnley last season and was one of the most impressive young stars in the Premier League. He proved himself a handful against all oppositions and bagged a double in Burnley’s 2-1 away win against Stoke City as well as netting in the Clarets’ 3-1 loss versus Manchester United at Old Trafford.

During pre-season, the former Bournemouth man proved he can be a handful and highlighted his movement is one of his best attributes. He is selfless in front of goal and willing to drag defenders away to create space for his team-mates.

Benteke Option

Liverpool were disappointing from a goalscoring point of view last term and netted just 52 times throughout.

Rodgers failed to replace Luis Suarez last summer, who left for Barcelona for £75 million, and signed Mario Balotelli for £16 million from AC Milan. The Italian flattered to deceive in his maiden season at Anfield and scored just four goals in all competitions and has now rejoined AC Milan on loan just one year after departing the San Siro.

Rodgers looked to correct his previous summers’ mistakes and splashed out £32.5 million for Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke, and Rush has praised the signing of Benteke and believes the Belgium international adds an extra dimension to Liverpool’s style of play.

"I'm really happy that they have signed him. I think they needed someone like that," Liverpool's all-time leading goalscorer added.

"Benteke gives Liverpool a different option and I think he's probably a bit better on the ground than people think. Technically, he's very good but he's also a good get out for Simon Mignolet.

"Liverpool like to play at the back but sometimes they overplay and he can be that get out because he is good in the air and it allows Simon Mignolet to kick the ball down the field knowing Benteke is a good outlet.

"It's good that he has proven Premier League experience but the most important thing is that he is already off the mark. When you move to a new club as a striker the most important thing is getting your first goal and he's done that already.

"For me, he kept Aston Villa in the Premier League last year. When he was fit and firing Aston Villa looked like a quality team who were always capable of scoring.

"I think he improved Aston Villa when he was there but playing for Liverpool is another level. You have to be consistent, not in three games out of six, but five games out of six.

"That is the pressure of playing for Liverpool. I'm sure he now knows what it's like and I'm sure he will do well."

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Ian Rush
Christian Benteke
Danny Ings
Premier League

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