January transfer window - Who should Liverpool buy?
Unfortunately for most clubs, Liverpool have already done their best of business before the January transfer window even opened by convincing Luis Suarez to sign a contract extension. However, the Anfield club has been vocal about looking for quality additions in the mid-season window.
The success of Phillipe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge since their arrival in January 2013 has set a precedent for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool’s transfer committee. Much has been said and written about the disastrous acquisition of Andy Carroll by Kenny Dalglish. However, the winter transfer window is essential not just for emergency reinforcements, but for the identification of bargains.
Given the current Liverpool squad, there is an obvious paucity of quality beyond the starting eleven. However, a balance has to be maintained when it comes to buying players given the young players emerging from the academy. Buy too many, and opportunities for the young to shine reduce. Buy too few, and an injury or too can expose gaping holes.
No concerns here. Mignolet has performed admirably since he joined at the beginning of the season. While Rodgers would want to get an adequate back-up keeper, he may want to continue with Brad Jones till the summer.
Verdict: No reinforcements in January.
The centre back position seems to be overflowing with options. Agger, Skrtel, Toure, Sakho are extremely handy to have, and with Tiago Illori learning the ropes, injuries should not be a concern especially with Martin Kelly’s preferred first choice being at the centre of defence.
Andre Wisdom has also enjoyed a particularly good run on loan at Derby. Thus, the future at the heart of the back-line looks secure.
The emergence of Jon Flanagan as an absolutely flabbergasting right-footed left-back has obscured a problem area for the club. The injury to Jose Enrique should have meant that Aly Cissokho would have been deployed on the left, but the on-loan Valencia full-back’s hesitant performances have meant that Flanagan and Glen Johnson have been preferred.
Otherwise, the full-back positions look filled. Johnson, Kelly and Flanagan are more than comfortable on the either flanks, and with Cissokho in back-up, the lack of personnel does not seem to be an issue. Jack Robinson has been getting his share of games at Blackpool, while academy youngster Ryan McLaughlin has impressed this season for the youth teams.
Verdict: A left-back could be a possible recruit.
Possible Targets: Rodgers is rumoured to admire Ryan Bertrand since his Chelsea days. Benfica full-back Lorenzo Malgarejo is another one who has been on Liverpool’s radar.