It’s that time of year again, the January damaged window is now open. All Liverpool fans will no doubt have their own views on which new faces they would like to see in a red shirt by the end of next month.
But based on today’s squad, a lot of people are asking the question ‘what do we really need?’.
I personally agree with Klopp’s philosophy of only buying players for the medium to long term and not just for the rest of this season but if someone can come in to do both – then it’s a no-brainer if it enhances our chances of winning the league in May.
Goalkeeper – Those who know me know that I am not Mignolet’s biggest fan. That being said, Karius has yet to convince me either and I am still struggling to work out an attribute that he has.
It would be wrong to write him off long term though given he is still young and relatively new to the league. Realistically, who would be available in January that would improve us in this area?
I think the only goalies out there that would be an improvement on our current crop won’t be available so we will have to wait until the Summer to strengthen our goalkeeping department. I don’t think Joe Hart is the answer.
If I could be allowed to dream, I would love us to snap up AC Milan’s excellent 17 year old keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma who seems to have everything you need to be a top goalie.
For people who’ve not seen him play and wonder why I’m suggesting a keeper of such a young age, take some time out to watch Milan next time they play. We’d have to join a very long queue though if he was up for grabs!
Defence – If you’d have asked most Reds back in August were we needed to strengthen most across the back four, the resounding answer would have been left back!. What a masterstroke it’s been by Klopp to put Milner in there.
Long term, we do need a natural quality left back but I would argue with anyone that Milner has been the most consistent player in that position in the Premier League this season. With Moreno as back up and Joe Gomez recovering well by all accounts, I think we will be fine in that position for the next 5 months.
Since the start of the year, it’s become apparent that Sakho has no future at the club and given we only have 3 first choice natural centre half’s currently available, I think this is one of 2 areas we definitely need to strengthen in.
I’d love to see Van Dijk sign but obviously we won’t be the only team looking to bring him in. Recent rumours suggest Chelsea and City are most likely to win the battle for his signature so if it’s not to be Van Dijk, who else could we go for?
Central Midfield – This is one area where I feel we are comfortable in for the rest of the season. Given Klopp only tends to play what you would call 2 orthodox central midfielders, I think we have adequate quality and cover in this position with Henderson, Wijnaldum and Can – with the likes of Kevin Stewart and Marco Grujic providing further cover if needed.
They are all still fairly young and will only get better so unless we get the opportunity to sign a real Rolls Royce player in this position next summer, this is one area I feel is way down our priority list.
Attacking midfielders / wingers / Strikers – Along with central defence, this is another area that we definitely need to strengthen in and I’m confident that we will. It seems mad to suggest this given we are the top scorers in the league.
I’ve every confidence that Klopp has always had a plan for when Mané jet’s off to Gabon for the African Cup of Nations. When we bought him, we knew he would not be about in January so I would expect a plan has always been in place to cover him with someone else from the squad.
But given Ojo has struggled for fitness due to injuries, and with Ings being ruled out for the season, Klopp’s original Plan B may already have been scuppered.
We’ve seen recently with Coutinho’s and Sturridge’s injuries how thin on the ground we are in terms of first choice players for the 4 attacking positions so I feel we need 1 more player in the attacking positions regardless of the Mané situation.
Whilst it’s vital that we plug this gap for the remainder of the season, this needs to be balanced with bringing in the right type of player who can complement the system.
A dream signing for me would be Julian Brandt from Leverkusen. He reminds me of De Bruyne. He’s a creative force and can play anywhere across the front 4 and gets more than an equal fair share of Goals and Assists. He can run all day as well and has all the attributes needed to fit Klopp’s vision for the club. It’s unlikely that Leverkusen will let him go mid-season though and any move for him may have to wait until the summer.
The more realistic signing is the Dutch Winger that we’ve been linked with. Quincy Promes possesses a lot of the qualities Klopp looks for in an attacking player and given that he currently ply’s his trade at Spartak Moscow, it seems that it may be easier to secure his services than it will be to get someone like Brandt.
If the summer signings are anything to go by, I’m confident that Jurgen will make the right decisions needed to take the team and the club further forward. Bring on 2017! Let’s hope this is finally our year!
Written by @mark_curriemmc