Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho and loaned out Daniel Sturridge during a torrid transfer window for the Reds.
Given the amount of bullshit that went on in January, it’s really, really difficult to fully assess Liverpool’s winter transfer window. From pundits to supporters of the Reds to fans of opposing clubs, most have had a say on the business Jurgen Klopp’s side conducted.
When news broke over Christmas that Virgil van Dijk looked certain to sign for Liverpool at the beginning of the month, fans were understandably over the moon given that the previous year had been an emotionally disruptive pursuit of the Dutchman.
From signing van Dijk on New Year’s Day to his FA Cup winner in the Merseyside derby five days later, things couldn’t be going better for Liverpool. And then, it was revealed that Philippe Coutinho would be joining Barcelona in the coming days.
From the highs of signing van Dijk, having him eject Everton from the FA Cup in spectacular fashion to selling Coutinho to being eliminated by West Brom in the same cup two weeks later summed up a disastrous month for Liverpool.
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Not to mention the fact that Daniel Sturridge left on loan, joining West Brom until the end of the season. All this without bringing in a single replacement for two of the club’s most naturally talented players.
Suffice it to say that fans aren’t happy.
The biggest gripe among supporters and Liverpool sympathisers is the fact that after selling Coutinho, arguably the club’s most talented player, there was no concerted effort to sign a replacement for the Brazilian.
Of course, Jurgen Klopp did try to sign Naby Keita early but baulked at the fact that RB Leipzig wanted £20 million more than the agreed premium to be paid in the summer.
It’s 36 hours to deadline day. Manchester City are signing Laporte, Spurs are in talks with Moura, Chelsea are after Dzeko, Arsenal are sealing the Aubameyang deal; meanwhile Liverpool staff is attending Coutinho’s farewell party. What a club we are.
— . (@AnfieldAn) January 30, 2018
So now, Jurgen Klopp will need to be very creative himself to inspire players not typically suited to unlocking low block midfield defences every week. As Swansea City and West Brom have painfully reminded the German, without the right players in central positions, teams lower down the table will frustrate Liverpool.
Sell Coutinho. Don’t replace Coutinho. Try to get Keita in early. Refuse to pay to get Keita in early. Monitor Lemar. Refuse to pay figure for Lemar. Accept both GKs are awful. Refuse to bring in GK. Realise our attacking options are trash. Loan Sturridge to West Brom. Liverpool.
— Matthew Ordish (@MattOrdish) January 29, 2018
After an early move for Naby Keita was ruled out by RB Leipzig on social media, public attention turned to Thomas Lemar, who was a target for the Reds in the summer. All speculation was put to bed by the ever-reliable James Pearce after a tenuous link from Duncan Castles suggested the Frenchman had agreed terms with Liverpool.
When you see Thomas Lemar rumours resurface but then remember that you support Liverpool and there’s fuck all chance that the useless gang of dickheads are going to buy him. pic.twitter.com/YjjWXc3tjz
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) January 24, 2018
It became more and more obvious that there would be no more major arrivals other than the signing of Virgil van Dijk. The only other incoming for the winter transfer window was 18-year-old Tony Gallacher from Falkirk and this obviously did little to appease desperate supporters.
And then for me, the most frustrating and disheartening thing about the entire transfer window is the fact that Liverpool didn’t sell Jon Flanagan despite the fact that he assaulted his girlfriend.
The 25-year-old has been loaned out to Bolton and although many fans are happy to see him distanced from the squad for several months, I honestly think he should have had his contract ripped up.
Jon Flanagan signs for Bolton on loan. pic.twitter.com/IWvgRQ4hKS
— Anfield Express (@AnfieldExpress) January 31, 2018
Yet, with Liverpool “languishing” in third place and just three points behind second-place Manchester United, I think it’s a bit too early to be calling this a crisis. With Porto waiting for the Reds on Valentines Day in the Champions League, there is the potential for a superb end to this season.
I am excited to see how things pan out this season and I won’t let a couple poor results ruin the season. Liverpool could easily end up behind Manchester City in second place in the Premier League come May as well as having enjoyed an exciting run in the Champions League.