Rodgers rules out Carroll return
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no plans to recall Andy Carroll from West Ham in January despite a shortage of strikers.
Fabio Borini is facing up to three months on the sidelines after breaking a bone in his foot, leaving Luis Suarez as the club's only senior forward. And Rodgers has acknowledged that he may not be able to play Suarez in every game between now and January, when the transfer window will offer a chance to sign reinforcements.
It means that the Liverpool manager faces having to shuffle his squad to fill the attacking roles over the next two-and-a-half months. But even though he has the option to bring back Carroll in January, Rodgers says he has not considered it.
"It's not something I've considered, to be honest," Rodgers said. "Andy's a player who has gone out to get games, and that's what's happened. Obviously, we have people watching Andy when he plays, and report back on how he's doing. But at this minute, Fabio's situation has just come up, so we'll assess it from there."
Rodgers allowed the England international to join West Ham on a season-long loan in August, on the understanding that he would be able to get a replacement in before the transfer deadline closed. But a deal to bring Clint Dempsey to Anfield from Fulham fell through, and the United States international joined Tottenham instead.
With Borini injured, Suarez faces an extra burden and although the Uruguayan has indicated that he would be happy to play in every Premier League, Europa League and Capital One Cup game between now and the turn of the year, Rodgers is wary of asking too much.
"That's something I need to assess," the Liverpool manager said. "The most important thing is winning games. That's what we need to do. And in order to do that as often as we can, I need the best players on the field.
"Luis playing three times a week, he will absolutely love that, but I need to try to nurture him, because there are still many games I need to play between now and January. And even if we bring people in then, that may not arrive on January 1."
Teenagers Samed Yesil and Adam Morgan are among the younger options Rodgers has in reserve, but the manager is wary of throwing them in at the deep end.
"It's very difficult for young players," he said. "We've got other players who will be around who we might use. We've got a bit of flexibility within the team.
"But it's been great for me to see the young players. Young Adam has scored a couple of goals recently in the reserves. He did very well and scored an excellent game away at Middlesbrough and one in the home game against Fulham.
"And obviously young Samed Yesil is a goalscorer. But it's just a case of weighing up whether they can come in or not. I've been able to do that with a few of the other players. As you've seen, if I believe they have that talent and personality then I will put them in.
"But not every young player can play. This is an unforgiving league, so my job is to nurture the talent and not destroy it."