Why Klopp Will Demand a January Addition

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January Signings – Game Changers?

Though I am certain that Liverpool’s illustrious manager, Jürgen Klopp, played no part in his own households Christmas shopping, I am equally convinced that he has a strong interest in some potential upcoming January sales. I do not see that any players will be allowed to leave Anfield in the upcoming transfer window, however, I am confident that given the reds Premier League position and realistic chance of silverware, some movement will be made to strengthen the current Liverpool 2.0 squad.

How Likely Are Liverpool to do Business in January…?

It is important to look at what has come before, to determine what may come next in the next phase of the recruitment process. Since his arrival in 2015, the 56-year-old former Borussia Dortmund manager has made several winter signings, which are listed below for review.

2015/16 – Winter Window Only

Marko Grujić

Signed from – Red Star Belgrade

Fee – €7m

Stephen Caulker

Signed from – QPR

Fee – Loan (not signed permanently)

2016/17 – Winter Window Only

No business undertaken

2017/18 – Winter Window Only

Virgil van Dijk

Signed from – Southampton

Fee – €85m

2018/19 – Winter Window Only

No business undertaken

2019/20 – Winter Window Only

Takumi Minamino

Signed from – RB Salzburg

Fee – €8.5m

2020/21- Winter Window Only

Ozan Kabak

Signed from – Schalke

Fee – Loan (not signed permanently)

Ben Davies

Signed from – Preston

Fee – €1.85m

2021/22 – Winter Window Only

Luis Díaz

Signed from – Schalke

Fee – €47m

2022/23 – Winter Window Only

Cody Gakpo

Signed from – PSV

Fee – €42m

The above information paints a picture of a club doing what was needed, relative to the needs of the manager in that moment. Every Liverpool fan knows full well that an elite defensive midfielder was sought, to replace the previously world class levels of the departed Fabinho. Instead of ruing the missed opportunities that saw both Moisés Caicedo and Roméo Lavia join Chelsea, the reds interim sporting Director, Jörg Schmadtke, targeted an experienced campaigner, Wataru Endō. I am very pleased with how the former Stuttgart enforcer has handled such a huge step up in class, whilst believing the plan to recruit a younger version remains. Whether or not that happens in this window will be based upon the name and subsequent availability of those players. Though Kostas Tsimikas has joined Andy Robertson on the injury list, the Scotland captain should be back by the end of January, therefore a midfielder should remain as the key target.

Who Are the Likely Defensive Midfield Targets & Are They Available Now?

Aurélien Tchouaméni

Club – Real Madrid

Positions – CDM / CB

Verdict – A winter deal is very unlikely, yet one last summer chase could well unfold.

Fee – €90m

João Palhinha

Club – Fulham

Position – CDM

Verdict – A winter deal is very doable, if the age of the player (28-years-old) can be accepted. It is this January or never for any potential deal to be struck.

Fee – €60m

Cheick Doucouré

Club – Crystal Palace

Position – CDM

Verdict – A deal is now not something that can happen, given the Achilles injury.

€60m

Boubacar Kamara

Club – Aston Villa

Positions – CDM / CB

Verdict – Could be the summer answer, but that would mean waiting. Aston Villa will not sell in the winter, yet a rumoured buyout clause (from next summer) would enable a move.

€75m

Could a Left Sided Defender Now be the Primary Winter Target?

It is now conceivable that a defensive player is targeted, however, I still believe the holding midfield position will take precedence. Luke Chambers and Calum Scanlon are young and talented left backs, whereas Conor Bradley could take this opportunity to shine on the right, with Joe Gomez utilised more from the left. With that being said, here are a few of the more likely names for the left sided role.

Gonçalo Inácio

Club – Sporting Lisbon

Positions – LCB / RCB / LB

Verdict – A name that has lingered for some time and one that could be attained by triggering his buyout clause. The 6ft 1 inch defender ticks so many boxes and if a fee could be engineered below the projected €60m release clause, then it would make sense to make a move.

Fee – €50-€60m

Levi Colwill

Club – Chelsea

Positions – LCB / LB

Verdict – A player that was heavily linked in the summer, before signing a new long-term contract at Stamford Bridge. It is not unthinkable that his employers, Chelsea, will have to start selling some of their assets to meet FFP, which could see another summer move avail itself. A winter move will not happen, though this one may not be finished.

Fee – €65m

Lloyd Kelly

Club – Bournemouth

Positions – LCB / LB

Verdict – If a defensive midfielder could be recruited, a low key move for this Bournemouth defender would be a very smart move. Kelly was a target back when Andy Robertson was signed and with a contract due to expire in the next summer, a reduced fee could see him signed in January.

Fee – €15m

Much like with Dominik Szoboszlai, Cody Gakpo, Fabinho, and Luis Díaz, I suspect any potential deals will be kept quiet until the moment to move arises. This could prove to be both an exciting and frustrating month for the Liverpool fanbase, which could decide how successful this season could turn out to be. Any new addition could be a name from the above or it could be someone that has not been widely linked. One thing is for sure, this next month could be a very interesting one.

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