Hodgson - Still room for Masch
Roy Hodgson insists Javier Mascherano and Christian Poulsen can play alongside each other at Liverpool.
Last Updated: 18/08/10 10:20am
Roy Hodgson insists there is room for Javier Mascherano and Christian Poulsen to play alongside each other at Liverpool.
The Reds wrapped up the signing of Denmark international Poulsen from Juventus earlier this month, fuelling speculation that fellow defensive midfielder Mascherano is set for an Anfield exit.
But Hodgson is confident the duo can complement each other on Merseyside, and is hoping to put both players to good use this season.
"I don't want to let Javier go and at the moment he has shown no signs of going," said Hodgson in the Daily Express.
"I believe Javier Mascherano is going to play for us and I believe Christian Poulsen is going to play for us.
"We can have both players. This is a big club and a club with a lot of games to play this year hopefully.
"Christian is a quality player and we want quality players. He is a good passer and supporter. He will fit in nicely with the way we try to play.
"We try to play football through the midfield and Liverpool have always been a passing team; there is going to be no change to the style, whether it is me or someone else is manager."
The Reds kick off their Europa League campaign against Trabzonspor at Anfield on Thursday night, and Argentina captain Mascherano could be fit for the clash after tweaking a muscle during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
Hodgson has signalled his intention to field Mascherano against the Turkish club, which would cup-tie him from playing for any other side in the Europa League and prevent him from featuring in the Champions League.
The 26-year-old had looked likely for a reunion with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez at Inter Milan this summer, but the recent surprise £25million move for Genoa's Giuseppe Sculli in a similar position indicates the Serie A club's interest has faded.
Barcelona are reportedly the latest club to be targeting Mascherano's signature, but could be dissuaded against making a bid for the midfielder if Hodgson rules him out of action in Europe.