What Liverpool Need to do in January


The January transfer window is open and it remains the same enigma. Alex Ferguson has much disdain for this market, but for some, the January window has seem some of their best business occur. For Liverpool in the past decade this is certainly true. 

Of course January marks their biggest gaffe – £35m on Andy Carroll from Newcastle – but it also marks the arrival of Luis Suarez – arguably their best ever player. Not only that, but the past decade saw the Reds acquire the likes of Maxi Rodrigues on a free, and Daniel Agger for just £6m, then the duo of Daniel Sturridge for £12m and Philippe Coutinho for £8m.

The list goes on; Javier Mascherano came in January (albeit initially on loan) as did Martin Skrtel, Alvaro Arbeloa, and more.. Put simply, this January should be a time to be relished for Liverpool, wherein they can make the necessary improvements and make an assault on the coveted top four places.

At this time of writing Liverpool have not yet announced the signing for Marko Grugic, but it is expected the 20 year-old Serbian will be loaned back to Red Star Belgrade until the summer, so it is best not counting him as a January signing in any tangible way.

The acquisition of Christian Benteke is an anomaly for the Reds; despite currently looking like their only chance of a goal every other game, the general consensus is the Belgian is so ill-fitting for Liverpool that cutting their losses would not be the worst idea. Such a drastic move can be seen in Robbie Keane’s short stint in the 2008/09 season. Most wouldn’t disagree that the Reds’ were right to sell the Irishman, not replacing him was the issue.

Danny Ings arrived from Burnley in the summer and looked good initially, only for his season to be frustratingly cut short, suffering an ACL injury. Divock Origi arrived too, following an initial year on loan at his prior club Lille. The Belgian looked poor in his opening months, but latterly has began to settle somewhat.

Daniel Sturridge of course remains perma-injured, and shouldn’t be considered a tangible option for Liverpool for the foreseeable future.With that in mind, acquiring a goal scorer is a necessity for Liverpool in January. Who however, is a far harder task, and one which results in some sympathy for the Reds’ often maligned transfer committee.

Given the issue over Benteke is less finishing, but more style, two players stand out: West Brom’s Saido Berahino, and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. Berahino was denied a move away from the Baggies in the summer, while Lacazette decided to stay with Lyon amidst transfer speculation to the likes of Arsenal.

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Lacazette and Berahino both show an ability to run in behind, which is a necessity for Liverpool to succeed. Benteke is a better penalty box finisher than Berahino, undoubtedly. Yet how he plays simply doesn’t fit the Reds, and is an increasingly worrying thought for Liverpool going forward.

The acquisition of Berahino is eminently plausible, while for the Frenchman, it requires a little more imagination. Yet, given Liverpool’s ability to land Klopp as manager earlier this season, it shouldn’t be ruled out too quickly.

Above all this window needs to be one of change for Liverpool. Now under Klopp, clever player trading is required. Rather than making five average changes, one or two great ones are needed. A poor Liverpool team are playing in a poor Premier League, but possess one of the world’s best managers, and the financial ability to compete with most.

January may be a time approached with trepidation for many, but for Liverpool the time to act is now.