There wasn’t much transfer business done in this transfer window by most clubs. Liverpool replicated last wintera s form and didna t bring in anyone this time as well. Many would argue that the Reds needed some reinforcements to take their season forward. Liverpoola s aim this season is to ensure they have Champions League next season, and ita s a better affair than this time, . It is not going to be an easy affair as there are five clubs chasing the third and fourth berth in the table- Reds included. Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool are all hoping they can be in the elite competition next season, and judging by the way things are at the moment, ita s very difficult to predict who will end up where in the table. One thing is certain; the point margins at the end of the season are going to be very slim.
So did Liverpool need some reinforcements in this window to ensure they get to their target by the end of May?
Liverpoola s start to the season was absolutely atrocious. The Reds looked completely out of sorts, Brendan Rodgers was doing a bad job picking the teams, there seemed to be lack of chemistry in all departments and the summer signings were taking their time to settle in (much to the annoyance of supporters). Rodgersa head was being asked for, but thankfully Fenway Sports Group, the cluba s owners, decided to not make a knee-jerk reaction and decided to persist with the Northern Irishman.
Rodgers proved why he was awarded the Manager of the Year last time and found a way, albeit frustratingly late. A switch to 3-4-2-1 with Brad Jones in goal and Raheem Sterling leading the line against Manchester United brought Liverpool a 0-3 loss, but this game was a crucial turning point as the sidea s biggest problem this season looked to be cured- chances were being created, there was creativity in the midfield and Liverpool looked like scoring all the time. Since that game, the Reds have lost one game – to Chelsea in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi final (an extra time Ivanovic header). Liverpoola s defence looks stronger with makeshift defender Emre Can and initial out-of-favour Mamadou Sakho providing solidity to the backline. Lucasa s return to the midfield has been extremely essential as the Brazilian has done a worthy job as the defensive midfielder. The Kop faithful have been crying for, what seems like an eternity, a a proper defensive midfieldera . He has earned his stay till the end of the season, and there is no immediate need for a DM to come right away and settle in the team. There are links suggesting the Reds will go in for Asier Illarramendi in the summer and it makes sense. The Redsa do need an upgrade on the Brazilian as there are many better players in the position out there, but for now, the 28 year old has put in performances as good as any defensive midfielder in the league.
Daniel Sturridgea s return seems like a transfer itself since the player has been out for five long months, an agonizingly long time for the side, a side that scored goals for fun last season. This means that Liverpool have four strikers in the squad at the moment. While the other strikers havena t done much to exactly warrant their stay, defences can be made for all of them. Raheem Sterling has done a good job leading Liverpoola s attack as a false nine. Therefore, Liverpool have plenty of options up-front and dona t need an immediate addition in the strike department. Danny Ings is reportedly being lined up for the summer. In addition, Divock Origi would also return from loan. In all likelihood two (or maybe all three) of Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert would be shipped off.
The main talking point before the window opened was Liverpoola s need to bring in a new goalkeeper. Simon Mignolet had an awful start to the season and some of his individual performances were truly atrocious. However, the Belgian has massively improved of late. Liverpool have conceded one goal from open play in the last six games and have three consecutive Premier League clean sheets. There is considerable improvement in defence thanks to the three man backline of Emre Can, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho; presence of a conventional defensive midfielder in the form of Lucas and Mignoleta s individual form. The former Sunderland shot-stopper put on an outstanding display against Chelsea in the second leg where he made two phenomenal stops against Diego Costa. Liverpool do need another goalkeeper, especially since deputy Brad Jones (presently out injured) is just not good enough. U-21 goalkeeper Danny Ward currently deputizes for the Reds. But Mignoleta s resurgence in form means that Liverpool can wait till the summer and invest properly in the department that badly needs fixing. Petr Cecha s agent has spoken about his client moving in the summer and if Liverpool land the experienced Czech international, it could prove to be transfer of the season for them.
Liverpoola s current form, which is joint second best in Europea s top 5 leagues (along with Barcelona and behind Lyon), means that there is no need for rash and immediate recruitments. Summer signings have started making an impact with Lazar Markovic, Emre Can and Alberto Moreno nailing down starting spots in the side. Jordan Ibea s return from a successful loan spell at Derby County means that the Reds have an exciting youngster on the bench and an addition from within the squad. Brendan Rodgers doesn’t need arrivals who would take time to settle in the system he has found success in. Instead, he needs to make sure the Reds continue this form and finish the season on a high because the Merseysiders need to attract top quality talents in the summer and getting success this season is a reliable way of ensuring that.