Christmas marks a special time for everyone. Liverpool or Man City, Jürgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola, it’s a time when tribal allegiances and creeds are put to one side to reflect on a greater truth.
There is less than a week until the January transfer window opens.
Forget turkey — the football rumours feeding frenzy will soon begin, with an appetite far more voracious than even the most indulgent family member at Christmas dinner. There’s enough to keep everybody fed for a month.
Liverpool, generally, sit out the festivities, occasionally dipping in for a couple of pigs in blankets or a bit of stuffing, but mostly content to just watch the chaos unfold around them.
This January is likely to be no different. Even so, there are one or two incoming and outgoing deals that could provide the final flourishes on an already-strong squad, potentially setting it on the path to Premier League glory.
Here’s how Klopp’s Liverpool squad could look after a perfect January transfer window.
There is no need for any change in this department, except for the departure of Loris Karius. The fact that the German is still at Liverpool is scarcely believable — it would require a Christmas miracle for anyone to pay the club for his services, but by all accounts he will be allowed to leave for nothing despite having six months to run on his contract.
This will free up another non-homegrown squad slot for Klopp, allowing him more freedom to dip into the transfer market for a signing that could retain the impetus in the Premier League title charge.
Virgil van Dijk
No incomings here either, but a departure for Nat Phillips. The defender is currently out with a cheekbone fracture, but is expected to return some time next month — the injury will not be enough to put off any potential suitors in the January transfer window.
Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool handed Phillips a long-term contract extension in the summer, but it now looks like a masterclass in value protection. Despite hardly playing, the market appears to still be there for the 24-year-old, with a healthy fee of £12m looking realistic.
In the meantime, he has provided valuable peace of mind over a six-month period where all four of the senior centre-backs were returning from injury-hit seasons to one extent or another. Fortunately, only Gomez has suffered any further setbacks, but this has limited the ‘Bolton Baresi’ to a Papa John’s Trophy outing and a start in the Champions League dead rubber against AC Milan.
This means Phillips’ final contribution for Liverpool could be his Cruyff turn at the San Siro. There are worse ways to sign off.
Read More:Liverpool’s ideal January transfer window would give Klopp a title-winning squad