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“Is it essential that we strengthen in January, and if so what do we need?"


We're midway through the January transfer window and the Reds are yet to make any move to strengthen the squad. With the title a genuine possibility this season, does Jurgen Klopp need to be bold and add to his squad now rather than wait until the summer? We asked three of our writers if we need additions to the squad and, if so, in what positions...

There’s a line of thinking that you should never go food shopping when you are hungry, as your brain is all out of kilter and you’ll end up buying enough food to stock a local farmers’ market.

 

I’m tending towards thinking that the same should be said about looking at possible transfers after that loss to Southampton; you’d end up bussing them into Melwood by the dozen. 

 

 

There is no doubt that after a couple of weeks of fun and partying Liverpool have a bad case of the post-Xmas January blues, but going out and having a big retail therapy splurge in the sales isn’t always the sensible solution.

 

There’s a strong case to be made that ever since the injury of Coutinho, and the knock-on effect of Firmino moving from being the front man, Liverpool have been struggling for rhythm and fluency. Results have papered over that fact but it is now catching up with Jurgen Klopp’s men. With the losses of Henderson, Matip and, more recently, Sadio Mane, many are starting to feel that the squad’s quality isn’t quite as deep as they had imagined earlier in the season.

 

A couple of additions at this crucial stage may well pep up the team’s performances but they will have to be the result of joined up thinking if they are not to be regretted.

 

The best option would surely be to attempt to bring in summer targets slightly earlier, with Christian Pulisic and, the widely sought after, Mahmoud Dahoud being stand out candidates. The success of this Liverpool side has come through the effectiveness of the system and any signing that is made now is unlikely to push any of that well drilled first eleven out of the side, when available.

 

Klopp is unlikely to be looking for short term fixes when he will be aware that by the start of February he could have reduced fixtures and more of his key players back again, but if he can bring in some of his long-term targets half a season earlier than planned then I’m sure he’ll be keen to do so.

 

The club will be in no rush to pay over the odds for the targets but there is definitely the incentive to loosen the purse strings a little, with such a competitive battle for the Champions League places there could be a significant financial reward for strengthening the squad.

 

We could get to the end of a sunny February and realise that we went and bought an umbrella we didn’t use, but given that we’ll be needing one at some stage it’d be a shame to be soaked to the skin in May and regretting our decision to chance it.

 

Stu Montagu

@SimianJustice

 

 

 

There's no doubt that the January market is more complex than the summer but there are players available should you wish to strengthen.
 
There's also plenty of evidence close to home which suggests that it's an effective time to make additions; the 2012/13 season dramatically improved after the signings of Coutinho and Sturridge for instance and we also signed a certain buck-toothed genius in January 2011.
 
Whether you need to strengthen or not is generally dictated by how your season is going. As it stands we are surprisingly (to me at least) in the middle of a title challenge and it would send out a strong message if the club were to make one or two top class additions ahead of the run-in. It would also provide a boost to the existing squad.
 
There have been some signs recently that the squad is not quite good enough to absorb the impact of losing key players too. The loss of Coutinho, Mane, Matip and Henderson has resulted in a slight deterioration in performances, with their replacements unable to produce the same football as consistently.
 
The disappointing performance against Plymouth showed that the young players in reserve still have much to learn and therefore can't realistically be expected to have a big impact in the Premier League, especially when chasing the trophy and with all the pressure that brings.
 
The loss of Mane has been known for some time so I find it extremely frustrating that we have not planned ahead to ensure that a similar replacement has been signed, especially considering the attributes that he brings to the team and the fact that he's our top scorer. Mane's ability to run in behind has been a feature of our season and we have no other player capable of replicating it.
 
It'll therefore come as no surprise that a player in Mane's mould would be the top of my shopping list, followed closely by an energetic player capable of playing in any of the three midfield positions. If a Mane clone is not available for whatever reason then i'd like to see any kind of match winner in the forward line.
 
I like Klopp's attitude towards transfers in general but there's a time to be bold and that time is now.
 


Ian Brown

@redbrowny

 
 
 
It’s never been more essential that we make a signing or two, because if we don’t I have a genuine fear that our excellent first half of the campaign will be wasted and January will prove to be a month of frustration as our season comes off the rails and we don’t sign anyone whilst so well placed.
 
Five points is a significant gap but all it takes is for Chelsea to screw two games up and we can overtake them. Unfortunately at the moment it feels like we are the ones who will screw up. We look tired and our squad is not of the requisite quality in my opinion to maintain a title challenge and compete in two cups.
 
Given the way we play it isn’t surprising there are tired legs and minds. I know we aren’t in Europe but I think that’s a red herring because we play with such intensity. When you take that away from us, we are painfully ordinary. When we play with everything we have we are one of the most intimidating teams in the league but that frankly knackers the players out.
 
The insipid, awful display at Southampton had been coming as far as I’m concerned and it’s no surprise we had a lack of cutting edge given Mané’s absence. Even he is erratic at times but he carries a threat in every game. What annoys me more is that we have known he is going to The African Cup of Jobbers™ since August and what do we have in reserve? Absolutely nothing.
 
We need them to plug other gaps in the team. Lallana has played wide twice in the last two weeks despite being in fantastic form in the midfield three. Origi had been starting every game because of Coutinho’s absence. Firmino has been shunted out wide to the massive detriment of his form. Sturridge is a shadow of the player he once was and has an attitude to accompany it. The bench has been padded out by the young lads from the Academy which I wouldn’t mind but not in the middle of such a good season.
 
And despite all this, we are in a title hunt. This is despite our transfer policy, not because of it. I admire Klopp’s desire to coach improvement and he has done that in spades with players like Lallana and Lovren. I am pleased to see the likes of Woodburn and Alexander-Arnold come through from the Academy as it is long overdue. But he needs to swallow his pride, look at his team and back them up.
 
We need another striker/forward, some more goal threat because the sad fact is you can’t depend on Sturridge anymore. Our owners love a cheap deal and goalscorers aren’t cheap so you can probably rule it out. The Americans will probably be happy to make another profit this window in fact.
 
Not many teams want to sell goalscorers in January but with the right ambition (herein lies the problem with the parasite owners) you can get a Suarez or a Sturridge. You just have to pay what the other team wants – something we are very, very reticent to do as that doesn’t look good on a spreadsheet.
 
I’m not saying signing a striker of requisite quality is easy – but if you want to do it enough, it can be done. Do we want to do it enough? I am far from convinced.
 
While we’re at it, if you believe what you read and hear a deal for Dahoud is already done for the summer. He’s in and out of their team – why not pay a bit more and get him in now? I think we really drop off if one of Henderson, Lallana or Wijnaldum don’t play. He’s supposedly a player of some promise who is good on the ball and likes a pass. He would be a better option than the defensive minded Lucas or the off the boil Can.
 
I don’t think we’ll sign anyone though, unfortunately, and if we don’t there will be some severe frustration in the terraces because currently we have as good a chance as anyone to win the league. It’s just a question of ambition and that isn’t something our owners have. But Klopp will also be culpable as well – you can only improve your tools so much before you need to buy some more.
 

Dan Thomas

@TLW1Dan




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33 Comments

Yes. Felipe Anderson.

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Wait for the right player and miss out on CL then have to replace Coutinho if he wants off. Makes perfect sense. Rather than playing catch-up all the time let's be proactive and make a statement of intent.

Either that or announce a partnership with our official Lawnmower supplier on deadline day.
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We only ever wait on the right players in windows were weve no intention to spend.

Its funny how we don't go after the unrealistic targets in the summer and actually sign players we can.
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We'll be fine now Coutinho's back. But seriously there is a real shortage of quality in the match day squad and it will bite us on the arse if we don't sort it out.
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You have to speculate to accumulate, we need 2 players at least imo or we'll come up short, that could cost us a shit load more than what we would have to give out for 2 or 3 players. 

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We usually go for someone every January.

Unusually quiet this time.
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Hopefully we are keeping our powder dry and are in talks with a couple of players Klopp wants. I ain't holding my breath though. The owners will always have the new stand to use as an excuse for not investing in the squad, regardless of the fact that the new stand adds 100% certain value to the club. 

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And has been paid for by the TV money and the additional revenue that it will create. They have only advanced the club when it has benefitted themselves.
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I can't understand any argument against making a couple of signings. The squad is paper thin. We're two or three injuries away from facing the prospect of missing out on top 4.
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Some bad gimp on some LFC page on Facebook saying they are made up we have made a profit because it shows we are being run properly.they have then posted a link saying Man Utd are £465m in debt.

What they fail to realise is that they make that much money they can still afford to spunk millions on players and service the debt. They seem to think the Mancs are on the verge of administration.

If the Glazers ever sold the Mancs they would get over a billion anyway.
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dont care
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We clearly need a couple of extra bodies at the very least someone to replace mane. For me it seems mad not to take advantage of this window. Fuck this it's a difficult time to do business mantra.

We look fatigued.
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So fucking fatigued of this scrabbling for talent bollocks. Just fucking give Klopp what he needs and stop hiding behind his eye for a bargain FSG you donut fucking fucks. 

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It was essential to strengthen right at the beginning of the month, the fact that the club didn't bother tells you everything you need to know about our owners, they're not good enough.

 

We'll finish 5th or 6th now barring a major upturn in form & some good luck with injuries.

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We'll be fine now Coutinho's back. But seriously there is a real shortage of quality in the match day squad and it will bite us on the arse if we don't sort it out.

 

Coutinho played against Burnley. Mané didn't. Just sayin'.

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I've been thinking about this and I've been firmly on the bus that says we need a couple of players to freshen the whole thing up. I'd like to slightly refine that to we need the RIGHT players to come and freshen it up. No use spending good money and probably over the odds if Klopp doesn't want them for the duration.

In order of priority I see the need for a winger as highest, especially with Mane gone. We miss his pace and cutting edge when he's out. After a winger we need another for the front three to keep them all at a very high level and help us withstand injuries or a loss of form a bit better. Who that is I don't know, but probably someone versatile and with an eye for goal. I feel we need a midfield kingpin to come in too, probably at the expense of Can. I'm willing to wait and see what emerges with the central defence, as I think it could end up being Matip and Gomez for the long run, but we'll see on that. We need a left back too, though Milner has been a revelation there this season.

If we can't sign the right player/s, the ones the manager wants for the long haul, we should try to find loan deals, and there are some good players kicking their heels at overstocked and monied clubs around Europe. We aren't competing in Europe, but a stint at Liverpool could lead to a permanent signing, or boost the chances of signing for someone else, so could be win-win.

We need players, but at the same time, I don't want us to splurge good money on the wrong sort. Not that Klopp would do it, but £30M on Benteke illustrates perfectly the folly of spending on the wrong type.
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Yes for me it's essential we buy. I can't see how the squad as it is can maintain the high intensity game through to the end of the season without the addition of a couple of players, particularly as injuries are likely to repeat themselves and mental and physical fatigue sets in further (which I think it already has).

There is no break in our season unlike in Europe. Playing the way we do I think the players need a break of sorts. The best way we can provide this is by adding good players to the squad so that there can be an element of rotation and/or good players to cover injuries.

It's probably a bit irrational but I find myself feeling rather pissed off that our owners (or maybe the manager) don't feel the urgency of this that I do - or maybe they do - I obviously don't know! But as has previously been posted they have known Mane would be off for the African Cup of Nations, I personally think it's a bit neglectful we haven't gone out there and made a statement of our intentions.

Perhaps we're ahead of expectations but surely now is the chance to seize the moment and sign players who will have seen how well we have been playing under such a brilliant manager. I worry if we do not our season might fall away which would be a huge disappointment. I never thought we'd be in the position we are now though so perhaps I should just trust in Klopp!

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We ain't buying anyone I think that much is obvious.....

You only have to look back to the summer, what team that claims it's going to be challenging for the top honours is £14 million in profit when we were still a number of players short?

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Just a keeper I reckon. We have more than enough promising youngsters not to mention a pretty strong squad overall. Karius might come good, but this isnt the season to take that risk. Mignolet might have looked stronger recently but its only matter of time before he loses it again. Maybe Joe Hart, but then he isnt immune to the odd clanger. Still won several titles with City though and is a lot better than what we have

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The promising youngsters we have won't be good enough for the first team I fear.
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Non of these youngsters have proved anything

The only one id be remotely comfortable starting is Alexander Arnold.
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The young lads will get another chance against Plymouth and hopefully then against Wolves with a few more senior players dropped in.

 

I'm not sure how anybody can make a judgement already on whether they'll make it or not in the long term. 

 

Plymouth was a bad result. The kids weren't helped by playing around an engine room of Lucas/Can rather than Henderson/Lallana. Let's see how they react in the replay.

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We will be active selling off another couple of players, it could be a bumper transfer window with our net spend well over £30 million in the black during Klopp's tenure. Happy Days. We'll be repaying that new stand in no time.

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We will be active selling off another couple of players, it could be a bumper transfer window with our net spend well over £30 million in the black during Klopp's tenure. Happy Days. We'll be repaying that new stand in no time.

 

Alternatively, Klopp will have a handsome transfer pot to use in the summer. I appreciate people have different opinions but when we spent £25m on wijnaldum and £34m on Mane in the last summer window, Im prepared to think the money will be used in the summer to tempt the targets Klopp wants.

 

Whether they want to come here is of course, open to question.

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