Liverpool’s Priority Transfers For January

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Now that Liverpool have emphatically topped their Champions League group with a 7-0 demolition of Spartak the club’s needs for the January window have become much more clear. We polled a few Anfield Index contributors, asking them what their two priority transfers would be for the January window to set Liverpool up to add to the trophy case at Melwood in this season and beyond.

One large Dutchman was a popular pick, but who would you prioritize in the winter window? Let us know in the comments below.


Adam Petruccione @adampetruccione
1 – Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga – Athletic Bilbao
2 – Defensive Midfielder: Houssem Aour – Lyon

While Loris Karius has shown promise at times and Simon Mignolet is great to have around if Liverpool are ever in a penalty shoot, goalkeeper remains the position that could be massively upgraded regardless of what system Jurgen Klopp decides to use. Atletico’s Jan Oblak would be my preference, but if we assume that an extremely expensive GK is not something Liverpool would actually move forward with, Kepa Arrizabalaga would be an interesting alternative. Real Madrid are trying to seal a deal for the 23-year-old before Bilbao can sign him to an extension with a huge buyout. Karius and Ward could be the long-term answer, but there have been enough signs (see free kick at Spartak) to doubt that. Finding an elite solution between the sticks should be a big priority for the club.

After clearing up the future at the goalkeeper position Liverpool should acquire players that would allow Jurgen Klopp to optimize the 442 formation that has brought stability and success in recent weeks. Houssem Aour is one of the most exciting young talents in Europe and would play in front of the back four, taking over for Juventus bound Emre Can. The 19-year-old already has 4 goals and 3 assists from deep midfield this season while registering over 2.5 tackles and an interception per match. With further solidity in terms of the system and the personnel surrounding Liverpool’s centre-backs, they will be able to perform to a higher level even if they are ultimately replaced in future windows.


Ash Hebs
1 – Centre Back: Virgil Van Dijk – Southampton
2 – Right Back: Benjamin Henrichs – Leverkusen

A centre back is a massive priority in this window (if only for squad depth) in the event of injury and for increased competition. Even if that man is not Van Dijk. It’s an opportunity to look to offload Lovren or Klavan in the summer, whilst securing, at the very least, a long-term replacement early to acclimatize to Klopp’s methods in readiness for next season.

A defensive-minded, playmaking midfielder is the obvious choice but the right calibre player may not be available. So a left field and controversial option here, considering the gravity of Clyne’s injury and the potential uncertainty of his return (both short-term and looking to his long-term availability). I would look for a new number 1, preferably Benjamin Henrichs, to cover for potential burn out to both Gomez and Trent. Gomez can go back to being a deputy for the centre-backs and Trent can be the number 2 RB.


Tom Holmes @TomHolmes19
1 – Centre Back: Virgil Van Dijk – Southampton
2 – Centre Back: Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli

If we’re talking about two players that Liverpool need to sign, then this is, for me at least, very straightforward. £200m. VVD. Koulibaly. Done.

In all seriousness, I think that Liverpool would be better served by buying two CBs then shoring up any other position. We need backup in certain areas (full-backs, winger, central midfield), but the only area where I think two players would walk into our team is at the heart of our defence. Van Dijk is the obvious name and I’m sure I won’t be the only person to mention him, but whilst Koulibaly would be awesome, there are plenty of other cheap or even free options to shore up our defense in the summer, looking at for example Stefan De Vrij as an example.

There is certainly a case to be made in other areas, but I think the answers in those areas already exist. Goalkeeper? Just give Karius a long run to improve. Defensive midfield? Just play Emre Can, he’s an absolute boss. Full-back? Moreno’s been fantastic this season and we still have the impeccable Clyne to return. We played Gini Wijnaldum in a back three the other day for goodness’ sake, what more do I need to say?

Get VVD. Get another CB. Win the bloody league.


Guy Drinkel @GuyDrinkel
1 – Centre Back: Virgil Van Dijk – Southampton
2 – Central Midfield: Leon Goretzka . Schalke 04

I would sign a CB and a CM in the coming winter transfer window as we have problems with both quality and simply number of players in both positions.

In terms of the actual player I would target Van Dijk from Southampton, as he is simply an outstanding CB, pace, power and defensive ability, he is the full package. CM is a tougher choice for me as I exclusively watch PL football, outside the obvious ones such as Goretzka etc I’d look at Ndidi from Leicester from my own viewing.

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  1. Don’t seem to have put real thought into these suggestions. Only two or three of the above mentioned targets are even possible in January.
    Schalke won’t sell Goretzka because they firmly believe they can convince him to resign, not to mention they’re fighting for a CL spot in Germany. Napoli will most definitely not entertain offers for Koulibaly as they’re 2nd in the league and have a real chance of winning the title this year. Lyon are in a three way tie for runners up to PSG in the league and are one of the firm favourites for the Europa League so doubt they’ll be interested in any deals for a player that’s featuring fairly regularly currently.
    Of the mentioned only VVD, Henrichs and Kepa seem possible for the January window. VVD clearly wants to leave and Henrichs doesn’t feature as regularly under the new coach at Leverkusen so they’re both in less than ideal situations opening a window of opportunity. Although two RBs and Clyne set to comeback in the new year means another RB doesn’t make that much sense. As for Kepa, signing a goalkeeper in January would only create more confusion in a position that is already rife with competition, not to mention between Real Madrid and Liverpool, he’s much more likely to pick Real.

  2. Aouar is not a DM. He could be a Coutinho alternative but needs a couple of years to reach the required level. Ndombele on the other hand…

    Just pull of Van Dijk in January and keep Cou until the end of the season and all should be great.

  3. You don’t spend your money on goalkeepers, done. We all know what people at the club think of VVD. Just imagine if Southampton would’ve been smart enough to sell for a record defender fee, where we’d be now. Klopp will never buy a pure defensive midfielder. Nice thought on the right back. Burn out if a major concern as well as giving Gomez a chance at moving to the middle where we could use his speed against counters. Sadly, we should be looking out for the annual Henderson injury in Jan. Obviously VVD to come in would be our dream window and any free transfers would be icing on the cake.

  4. Considering the thought by some fans that we are in need of two new CBS and/or a solid DM, I would consider Kevin Vogt of Hoffenheim. He was a DM turned CB by Nagelsmann and was pivotal to their last season successes. Although not pulling up trees this season he would be quality cover for both defense and defensive midfield if needed. Another player of similar type is Salic Sané who plays both CB and DM. He has been Hannover’s most important player this season so far. If Liverpool sign VVD plus one of the aforementioned players, be it in January or the summer, I doubt there would be much issues in defensive areas if Moreno continues his form when back and Clyne comes back at his level. Allowing Klavan or Lovren to go.

    I believe in Karius and think he was unfairly criticized to the level which he was due to the constant media coverage. Considering Klopp’s philosophy and track record I doubt he will spend £50 million on a GK or just give up on players as quickly as most fans do. He clearly helps the way the team plays by allowing a higher line and quickly releasing the ball for counters. He needed and still needs enough time to acclimatize to the Premier League. I’d rather not use this example but Man Utd slowly integrated De Gea and look at him now (not saying Karius can or cannot emulate his progress), Courtois spent two years at Atleti to develop in order to return to Chelsea, Cech and Lloris had years to develop without the huge criticism and enough faith in them to be the GKs they are now (Cech being on quite a decline now all considered). Some patience and faith would help our goalkeeping situation.

    I may have been a bit long winded. Sorry lol


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