Flying the Flag : Liverpool's All-British XI

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Flying the Flag : Liverpool's All-British XI
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The recent signing of Stewart Downing has confirmed an otherwise unsaid transfer policy that Liverpool FC will give priority to British players.

Some fans complain that the price of British footballers is inflated, and there is some truth to that. But if you cast your mind back a few years ago to when UEFA introduced the Home Grown Players rule, those same fans at the time were probably complaining that young British players were not given a fair chance to break into the starting XI of the big Premier League clubs.  

When the season finally gets started, concern over the inflated costs of British players will fall by the wayside as long as those players concerned deliver the goods on the field.

The most obvious advantage of signing domestically developed players is that their transition into a new squad will likely go smoother than foreign players. For Liverpool especially, this advantage will outweigh the cost issue, because the club has struggled for consistency in tricky away fixtures against the likes of Stoke, Blackpool, Portsmouth, etc.

In these games, the direct, physical approach of a British player such as Charlie Adam will likely be more valuable than the technical subtleties of cultured Continental players (not to say that there isn't a place for those types of players either).

Now for the first time in recent memory, Liverpool will be able to field an entirely British XI. The only position in which there isn't a British player in the senior squad is in goal, so I've dipped into the Academy for that position. Otherwise, it's not unlikely that this same starting XI might feature in a league match this season.

This team is set out in a 4-5-1 formation.

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