How a Brazilian defender could be bad news for Liverpool's youth system

Liverpool have been linked with a move to sign Brazilian defender Douglas on a free transfer at the end of the season.

He’s been one of the more consistent centre backs during his career with FC Twente and the temptation to sign him for nothing is going to be huge for Brendan Rodgers.

However, he cannot allow it to happen because it will have a more damaging effect over the current Liverpool squad than he may think.

Liverpool are a side that are giving more young players a chance than ever before and chances they may not have got, had the club had a higher amount of cash to spend during transfer windows.

They have been put in a position where Rodgers has had to do this or risk playing a full season with a smaller squad than the one he already has.

Martin Kelly, John Flanagan and Andre Wisdom will all be in the hunt, competing for a place in the side following Jamie Carragher’s retirement at the end of the current season.

Signing Douglas would not only set these players back in terms of their development, it may also give them the message or impression that they are not going to get the chance under Rodgers they may have thought.

The defensive trio are all very talented and Liverpool run the risk of losing them to some of their main rivals, which would be the very definition of counter productive for the club.

It’s a fine balance for Rodgers to try and achieve because Carragher is clearly the most experienced player in the current back four and Rodgers will want to retain the benefits that only appear with experience.

He’ll want someone in his defence who he knows is loyal, who he can rely on and will make Liverpool a more stable team from the very back all the way through to the forwards.

Kelly, Flanagan and Wisdom just have to hope that Rodgers takes a risk with them so they have a chance to show what they can do, but it’s clearly a big risk and one which could backfire.

The presence of Douglas would help Liverpool avoid a start to the season which they suffered this year, which has ultimately held them back from securing a top four slot and Champions League football.

Liverpool are going to be without Luis Suarez, by far their best striker, at the start of the next campaign which means Rodgers will be trying to take some of the pressure off of the forwards with an absolutely concrete back four.

That would mean Liverpool only having to score the odd goal to win matches and pick up points. That may not mean attractive football but it all comes down to how much faith Rodgers has in his younger stars.

Do you think Liverpool will compete Douglas’ signing?

image: © Vincent Teeuwen

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