It’s been a quiet transfer window for the Reds all in all.
While JIM WHITE is screaming from the rooftops about the possibility of late swoops before the transfer window slams shut while dressed like some sort of Scottish canary, Jürgen Klopp has his eyes set firmly on the West Ham United match.
All business has been players out – both Nathaniel Clyne and Dominic Solanke have departed for Bournemouth. Right back Clyne on loan until the end of the season and striker Solanke on a permanent deal for an impressive £19m.
Klopp was quick to play down the possibility of any January move early in the month and the German has stuck to his guns. Even last January with £120m burning a hole in his pocket, he chose to wait until the summer to replace Philippe Coutinho. Klopp is a man of long term thinking and not short term fixes.
Ideally, I would have liked another forward to come in. Daniel Sturridge has fallen off a cliff in a big way. His substitute appearance against Leicester City was eye wateringly bad.
With the Reds chasing a goal to win the match, Sturridge was a million miles off the pace.
Unfortunately, he has looked like this for some time and his time at Liverpool is rapidly drawing to an end.
This lack of goals off the bench is not something that has hurt us so far this season thus far, but the resumption of the Champions League in February will see three or four day turnarounds and I worry that the front three will burn out.
I have been championing the return of Harry Wilson, who is tearing it up in the Championship for Derby County, but the deadline to bring him back expired a few weeks back. And as such, we’re sticking with what we have. I don’t want to paint the young Welshman as a saviour incarnate, but he is goalscoring potential.
I admire Klopp’s stance of trusting in his players, but I don’t want to be relying on Divock Origi or Daniel Sturridge if we find ourselves in a pinch, which we inevitably will at some point between now and May.
Whilst we are light on goals in reserve, it was a no brainer to sell Solanke for the sums of money involved. He’s a potentially talented player but he isn’t going to make it at Liverpool and moving him on at that fee is the right thing to do. Eddie Howe has maximised the talents of players like Callum Wilson and David Brooks at Bournemouth and Solanke might well thrive under his tutelage.
I have far more concerns about loaning out Nathaniel Clyne.
Whilst he hasn’t played much, we have already had instances this season where we’ve had issues at right back. We are currently in the midst of a full blown crisis in that position with Trent Alexander-Arnold hurt Joe Gomez working his way back to fitness after a leg fracture.
James Milner’s late red card against Crystal Palace only worsened that situation which resulted in skipper Jordan Henderson as a makeshift right back in the Leicester game. Henderson played perfectly adequately but I don’t think anyone wants to see him there again.
I know that Klopp is not a mind reader and he could not have expected further injuries to his right backs, but with Clyne able to play left back as well, I wanted him to stay around. Anything to avoid the possibility of Alberto Moreno having to spend a single minute on the pitch!
Our squad is in pretty good shape – Matip and Lovren are both back after injury, Alexander-Arnold is around the corner and Gomez should be back by the end of February.
Our transfer dealings in the summer has vastly bolstered the central midfield, which was creaking by the end of last season. But I do worry we’re short of goals off the bench.
However, Klopp has only signed two players in January in his time at Liverpool and as such, a quiet window is of no surprise. He’s happy with what he has and the results this season to date completely justify that approach.
I just hope we can keep our front three fit, firing and in form in the business end of the season. Because I’m afraid the drop off between them and the alternatives is massive.