Liverpool have a choice in the transfer market. It’s not ideal, however, on the back of an ‘impossible’ £36m situation that would have fixed things.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano talked to Sky Sports about Liverpool’s transfer situation. It sounds as though the Reds are quite limited in their outlook, though.
“Liverpool are looking for opportunities [to sign a defender],” he said. “If something arrives, they will be ready to sign a new player.
“But spending £60m/£70m on players like [Dayot] Upamecano is absolutely impossible in this window.”
That’s unfortunate, then. As Liverpool try to tackle an injury crisis, it appears the quick-fix is not an option.
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They can’t simply do what they did in 2018 and spend an enormous amount on a centre-half to fix their defensive problems.
Upamecano is a player we really like, too. Goal claims he has a £39m release clause at the end of the season – something we believe makes him the best-value defender this year.
And that brings us to what Liverpool’s true options are right now.
Liverpool will have worked on their January transfer window for many months. Possibly since the moment they found out Virgil van Dijk would miss the season.
But now we’re at decision time. They need to pick how they go about the season and if they can’t spend big, we see two options.
The first is to gamble. No, you might not be able to sign a top defender for big money, but perhaps you can spend on a player who could be a top defender.
Fanatik say Liverpool like Merih Demiral, for instance. But he’d cost £45m – a monstrous fee for a player with his limited experience and success.
We say it would desperation to pay that for him. Liverpool might be desperate, though – we’d understand if they were.
So that is one option. Take a chance on a player you’re not 100% sure of and hope they kick up a gear, save the season, and become good value.
Obviously, that one can go very wrong.
Option two, then, is to simply wait. Stick with what you’ve got and wait until you have more options and better value in the summer.
It could effectively mean giving up on being as good as you can be this season. It might even cost Liverpool a league title.
But it’s undoubtedly the safe financial option. If Upamecano is available for £39m in the summer, for instance, he’s far, far better value than anyone Liverpool could sign in this window.
The club would need to put faith in squad players to see them through this season, though. It could deliver a league title and it would be truly outstanding if that faith paid off in this way.
But you’re risking wasting a year of a proven title-winning squad if it goes wrong. That is a huge decision.
There is no easy option. Liverpool have a transfer choice here but there’s great scope for success and failure.
We imagine they’ll lean towards the financially safe option, then. It carries the least risk overall – even if it means sacrificing their best shot at another league title.