Liverpool could end up regretting their summer transfer decision after new reports on January’s AFCON tournament. The Reds could end up being very short.
It seems that AFCON 2022 could well have a far bigger effect on Liverpool than first thought. You can read our thoughts on the situation here.
To summarise, nations could call up their players far earlier than the opening game. In fact, per the Athletic, they could want them as soon as December 27th.
The difference to Liverpool would be huge. Instead, of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita only missing Premier League games against Brentford and Crystal Palace, they’d also be absent as the Reds take on Leicester City and Chelsea.
In fact, both of those latter games are away, too. It’s safe to say that their chances of six points would drastically fall.
Now, Liverpool apparently hope to change the situation and keep their players for at least the Leicester game. It’s very possible that all three miss those crunch fixtures, however.
And with that, Liverpool could regret their summer.
Liverpool transfer decision looks bad with AFCON news
Liverpool didn’t add any new forwards to their squad this summer. That’s despite a lack of goals outside of their four primary attackers last season. It’s also despite letting Xherdan Shaqiri leave for Lyon.
As a result, they now face a four-game Premier League stretch with a severely depleted front-line. It will have to be Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Divock Origi for those fixtures.
In a one off, that’s not a bad attack. It could potentially see Liverpool through a couple of fixtures, in fact. But four? Including two of the most difficult this season?
It feels quite inevitable that Liverpool slip up somewhere along that stretch. It’s a front-three that’s at few levels below their first-choice and without any reliable backup beyond Takumi Minamino. And he’s a player the Reds very rarely call on as it is.
A summer signing would have fixed that and Liverpool surely knew that AFCON could end up being a problem. Even just a young player who could have offered more depth up front this season, 5-10 goals and decent cover in January would have been a smart transfer.
Defeats against Leicester and Chelsea could seriously derail the season. Especially as the African contingent could return from the tournament quite tired. It’s a problem that could affect Liverpool for weeks and weeks.
And if that proves to be the case, Liverpool will deeply regret not boosting their options this summer. It didn’t need to be a superstar – just someone they can rely on.