It may or may not be a tough decision but Liverpool should ignore any desire to loan a defender this month.
An injury ‘crisis’ in the back four provides some temptation to sign cover this winter. Joe Gomez and Joel Matip picked up injuries at the start of December, while Dejan Lovren went off injured on Monday.
Klopp doesn’t see the value in loan move
It’s certainly worth saying that Jurgen Klopp doesn’t appear too tempted. His response to a journalist suggesting Liverpool could sign a defender on loan was less than eager – TalkSPORT themselves described him as ‘irritated’ at the suggestion.
“The only country that asks a question like this is England,” he said. “Everything is sorted with buying players.
“We have four centre-halves. Three, maybe, two-and-a-half are injured so we’ll have to try and come through in the moment.
“We need them back but you cannot buy a fifth centre-half and say ‘so you play two weeks and after that, the others come in’.”
Liverpool’s title ambitions complicate things, of course. Can they afford to have a spell with only one senior centre back? Klopp loaned a centre back, Steven Caulker, in his first season and that was a season with far more margin for error.
There are two good reasons why Liverpool shouldn’t move to loan a defender, however. Firstly, who? Who would be the target and who would loan a decent defender midway through the season?
Which defender worth their salt would want to arrive for such a short spell like that? Caulker was the best option last time and the options won’t have opened far beyond that level.
Would a defender on loan adapt to Liverpool?
Secondly, Klopp’s signings generally take time to adapt. The only players who have made an instant impact are the truly elite ones. Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker have slotted in seamlessly but they’re anomalies, world class players the likes of which aren’t available now.
Andy Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Fabinho have all needed months of patience. Liverpool would need similar patience even with a player on their level.
It’s very unlikely that they’ll find a loan signing as good as Fabinho or Robertson, let alone better.
The chances of Liverpool finding a defender on loan who can adapt immediately are almost zero. Instead, the Reds need to have faith that their current squad can get them through a tricky period.
No, it’s not perfect in a title-chasing season but these are the challenges that champions must overcome. And you would always back Klopp and these players to do just that.