Brendan Rodgers is clearly intent on stamping an identity of youthful exuberance on his Liverpool side, but there is no substitute for a little experience in the dressing room.
To be fair to Rodgers, the makeup of his Liverpool squad has remained well-balanced for the most part since he swapped south Wales for Merseyside.
However, as a new era approaches at Anfield the Northern Irish tactician must ensure the scales do not tip.
Therefore, as rumours surface that 30-year-old right-back Glen Johnson is keen on a move to Roma in the summer, alarm bells should be ringing at the 23/20 top-four shots.
Johnson’s refusal to accept renewed terms on his soon-to-expire bumper deal has filled many column inches and given rise to no end of speculation.
The 50-cap England full-back was an integral part of the Reds’ hardest Premier League title push yet last season, though he is reportedly unhappy to see his £120k per week wages trimmed significantly to sign a new short-term deal.
Despite a preference from his manager to play others and injuries preventing Johnson from having such an impact on the Reds this term, the problems with letting the former Chelsea man slip away are numerous.
Experienced faces in the Anfield dressing room are already in serious decline; Steven Gerrard’s impending exit could be followed by that of fellow midfielder Lucas and almost certainly
Rickie Lambert if rumours prove fruitful.
Soon Anfield will be a no-go zone for players aged 30 or above which is no good thing, especially in continental competition.
Furthermore, even in lieu of long-term injury victim Jon Flanagan’s promise, Liverpool still don’t have a better candidate to play at right wing-back in their favoured 3-4-3 formation.
It’s the position to have seen the highest amount of personnel changes during this successful spell, where Javier Manquillo hasn’t cut the mustard, Lazar Markovic has blown hot and cold and Raheem Sterling is wasted.
Johnson still has plenty left in the tank and Rodgers should get back around the table.
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