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What does January hold in store?


With each passing transfer window the pressure begins to mount on Jurgen Klopp and FSG as they fail to address their glaring weakness at heart of defence. Not only that, Liverpool need to keep a lock on the door at Anfield to prevent their top stars being cherry picked by Barcelona et al.

 

On the back of that 4-1 hammering at Wembley, the Reds have slipped to ninth in the EPL table and are not a particularly good prospect at a general price of 66/1 in the outright markets. A better strategy if you are taking a punt is to look for promotions but what can be done to address the slide?

 

Here's what the Anfield club could be facing this January when the next transfer window opens.

 

Barcelona back to lure away Coutinho

It was the worst kept secret this summer as Liverpool’s talisman appeared on the verge of following Luis Suarez on the well-trodden path to Barcelona. And the Catalan club will no doubt try their luck again in January.

 

The Brazilian playmaker returned to first team duties with one of his trademark free kicks in the 3-2 win at Leicester and the hierarchy at the Nou Camp will be keeping a close on his form in the coming weeks and months.

 

In all honesty, it's difficult to see Coutinho leaving the reds midway through the season but that won't prevent brinkmanship between the two clubs as both sides look to seek the best possible price for a move which seems inevitable next summer.

 

Liverpool to get their man?

 

If Liverpool to Barcelona is a familiar pattern then Southampton to Liverpool is a genuine career path these days. And Liverpool could be set to sign another player from the south coast in Virgil Van Dijk.

 

Jurgen Klopp’s side hasn’t been able to defend, since, well, when Rafa Benitez was at the club almost a decade ago. In fact, Liverpool’s defence has got worse over last 12 months and they’ve already shipped 16 goals in 9 premier League games, so a top quality centre back must be Liverpool’s priority this January.

 

The Dutch international and current Southampton captain will offer stability and leadership at the back for a side who have no notable leaders in defence.

 

Does Klopp have a Plan B in January?

 

The Liverpool boss was widely criticised for not signing ANY centre back over the summer given their current options, while their goals against column has highlighted that issue.

 

But does Jurgen Klopp have a plan B when it comes to potential transfer targets? Last summer would suggest not. But there are plenty of quality centre backs out there with long term Chelsea target Kalidou Koulibaly a feasible option. There have been whispers that Liverpool are looking at the 26 year-old Napoli centre back as a potential signing should the Van Dijk deal fall through again.

 

Will Salah improve his (and Liverpool’s) cutting edge

 

The Egyptian attacking midfielder has hit the ground running with 9 goals in 14 games since joining from Roma but Mohamed Salah, despite being Liverpool’s top scorer, needs to improve his finishing. It might sound odd but Salah has been culpable of missing some gilt edged chances and the feeling is, he needs three or four chances before finding the net.

 

Liverpool have scored just two goals out of 52 shots on goal against Burnley and Newcastle in the Premier League this season, dropping four points in the process. If Salah and Liverpool can find that killer instinct in front of goal then Liverpool can go on a winning run.

 

Will Emre Can remain on Merseyside?

 

The 23 year-old German midfielder is approaching his 100th game for the Anfield club but his contract expires this summer and talks have stalled about a release clause being added to new terms.

 

Liverpool, if they don’t act quickly, could lose one of their best all round midfielders for free in the summer. Can has ensured quite a few ups and downs since signing three years ago but he has seemingly played himself back into Klopp’s first team plans over the last 6-12 months so his contract impasse has come as a surprise.

 

But there will be no shortage of offers for the talented midfielder should Can see his future elsewhere.


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