Liverpool’s performance v Everton this weekend will show how much they need transfer business in January.
The Reds will almost certainly play the Merseyside derby with a heavily rotated side. The amount of games over the Christmas period has simply been too much and they can’t miss the opportunity to rest players.
One bonus, however, is that it provides a brilliant look at the squad. How will Takumi Minamino fit in? Can Divock Origi perform v Everton again? How many young players are up to this standard?
The last question is the big one. We’ve seen plenty of them on the bench over the last couple of months and while they played much, they’re still there on the fringe.
But a big game like this will show how ready they are. It’ll show whether they can play over the latter half of the season and exactly how deep this squad is.
And if they really aren’t up to it, then Liverpool are far more likely to look for players in January. There isn’t cover at right-back, for instance. Can Neco Williams or Ki-Jana Hoever prove that they can provide it? Or will Liverpool need to look elsewhere?
The same can be said for left-back – can Yasser Larouci play backup to Andy Robertson? We could find out this weekend.
There are already so many things going on with this game. It’s a cup tie, it’s a Merseyside Derby, Liverpool are exhausted and the kids will surely play.
But there’s another – if a heavily rotated squad can beat Everton, there won’t be any real need for more transfer business this season.