Liverpool have a few transfer options this month, according to reports. However, their problem is plain to see.
It appears Liverpool will try and sign a defender after all. That’s according to The Times.
They say that while the Reds hoped to avoid doing business, injuries to Joel Matip and Fabinho force their hand. Jurgen Klopp is now without his first, second, third and fourth-choice centre-backs.
So while there may only be a few days left, Liverpool will try and get something over the line.
They will certainly have limited options but the Sunday World point out two – Shkodran Mustafi and Sven Botman. Those are two players that highlight Liverpool’s real problem, here.
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Mustafi and Botman represent polar opposites. In the former, you have someone who would be a possible short-term fix that isn’t really good enough for a long-term role.
In the latter, you have a long-term fix – but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Botman may be available now but that doesn’t mean he’s the one Liverpool want long-term.
That’s not to say that Liverpool couldn’t develop him into a top player. But it sounds as though they have their eyes elsewhere.
Journalist Rory Smith hinted this week that the Reds liked Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.
“I think Liverpool intend to sign a centre-back in the summer and I think that central defender is probably someone they will play against in the Champions League’s Last 16. And I don’t think it’s going to be Dayot Upamecano,” he told Guardian Football Weekly.
That’s Konate, then.
But if Liverpool sign Botman now, they won’t have the room or money for Konate in the summer. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Matip would all be back and we can’t imagine any are leaving, given their long-term contracts.
Liverpool would be costing themselves an opportunity to sign the player they want to get someone good in now.
And is that really worth it? There’s a strong argument that yes, it is. That Liverpool need someone in now in order to secure a good Premier League finish.
Slipping down the table would make next summer a lot more difficult, after all.
Alternatively, sign Mustafi or someone like him. He won’t stick around longer than this season and wouldn’t cost much at all. You could still sign Konate in the summer.
But then, this is a player who can’t get a game for Arsenal, with zero Premier League starts this season. Is that really the standard of player who will fix this season?
Liverpool do not have an easy task. There’s massive risk either way with no right answer. The best case would be someone like Mustafi coming in and shining, then leaving so Liverpool can sign the player they really want next summer.
But that carries the worst-case scenario of Mustafi not being match-fit, nor being good enough. And that’s the same as Liverpool doing nothing.
Honestly, we have no idea what they should do.