Interesting times ahead for Liverpool
The new year has been anything but quiet for Liverpool fans, with the club already involved in a pair of record-breaking deals. We're only a week into the transfer window.
No sooner had the club splashed a world-record £75m fee for a defender to sign long-term target Virgil van Dijk, the club's most influential player in Philippe Coutinho completed his much-awaited move to La Liga giants Barcelona - for an eyewatering £142m.
Even when you consider the escalating economics of the Premier League at present, it's undoubtedly a busy week for the club's accounting department. No doubt, a rollercoaster for supporters too.
In fairness though, it did not take a psychic to envision either move coming, just perhaps the timing of both.
Timing a thought-provoking aspect
Each deal was made halfway through the season, much longer than either player would have liked - but equally too soon for both sets of supporters.
Coutinho's departure this month is particularly surprising, considering Barcelona do not need him to win La Liga - they're already nine points clear at the top and look comfortable. He has already featured in the UEFA Champions League this term, making him cup-tied and unavailable for selection during the knockout stages.
In contrast, Liverpool seem to desperately need their star man. It's shaping up to be another tight battle in the race for a top-four spot again this term, while the Reds have their own Champions League knockout fixtures to look forward to.
When you think like that, it's surprising to see how he was allowed to leave midway through the campaign. Either he was desperate enough to force their hand, or Jurgen Klopp simply decided that he could no longer live with such an influential player who no longer wanted to be there.
Make no mistake, it was Klopp's decision after all - not the highly-criticised owners. You cannot blame Coutinho's wishes to leave, as he ultimately grew up dreaming of one day playing for the Spanish giants, just like Luis Súarez and many before him in previous years.
What will Liverpool do now?
Worried supporters will want their side to react positively to Coutinho's departure, of course, by dipping into the transfer market.
Heading into the business months of the season without arguably your best player, is never ideal - Klopp himself will know that. Their squad depth is ultimately going to be tested in the coming months, with injuries, various suspensions and a potentially hectic Champions League run. That's ignoring the rigours of Premier League football too.
Klopp's patience is going to be tested and having been criticised for his lack of a secondary option when their pursuit of van Dijk went cold last summer, it's now time to focus on acquiring attacking reinforcements. AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar has been linked recently as a possible Coutinho replacement, while a deal for Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez has been rumoured but nothing is confirmed yet, according to recent reports.
Whether they sign either player remains to be seen but it's set to be an interesting few weeks for Liverpool supporters.