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Liverpool winter window manifesto to aid top four bid

| 25.11.2015

Matt Haynes | November 24, 2015

There is no doubt that Liverpool, 7/5 with Coral for a top four Premier League finish are a club on the rise.

Jurgen Klopp has embraced a Reds revolution and will look to continue this as the January transfer window opens, with the German no doubt having identified targets to take Liverpool to the next level. Still going strong in the Europa League, winning this is also a possibility and a potential clash against former club Borussia Dortmund would make exceptional viewing.

Key characters already forming firm foundation

When Klopp arrived the likes of Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino were still recovering from injuries, however in the last couple of matches, both players have shown their ability.

In the 4-1 victory over Manchester City particularly, it seems Klopp’s long term plan to utilise Firmino as a nominal ‘false nine’ materialised and with devastating results for their opponents.

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Fourth Round - Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth - Anfield

Away from home, utilising Philippe Coutinho and Lallana either side of Firmino in a fluid attacking system appears to work wonders. Emre Can can be classed as another success under Klopp, having showed he can turn into one of the best all-round midfielders in the world, in time.

Soccer - UEFA Europa League - Group B - Liverpool v Rubin Kazan - Anfield

With James Milner also installed firmly into Liverpool’s system, the experienced and industrious 29-year-old is highly underrated and perfectly complements other traits that are on show from his teammates.

What is needed?

While the club’s away form, as shown against Chelsea and City, seems to play to the Reds strengths of winning the ball back quickly and counter-attacking at pace, it is at Anfield, where clubs seem content to sit back, that Liverpool struggle.

Christian Benteke has proved useful here, offering a target in the penalty area, exemplified by the Belgian’s bullet header against Southampton. The forward also still hasn’t fully recovered from injury, while Daniel Sturridge is also in the same boat and often was the difference in home games under Brendan Rodgers.

Soccer - Christian Benteke

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Klopp won’t look for a plan b. A way to implement intense possession and overwhelm opponents at home could form part of the transfer strategy, though they arguably already have a number of personnel within their ranks who could make this a reality.

There have been suggestions that Klopp might tempt Dortmund with an offer for a player he signed himself, with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang starting to reap the rewards of his former coach’s tutelage this term.

Unless it is a blockbuster offer from the Reds, the German outfit are highly unlikely to succeed and with five strikers already, Klopp may first look to move a couple of players on.

It is in defence where new blood may be needed the most, with the backline still susceptible to dips in concentration.

Rearguard reinforcements

While Mamadou Sakho is out for eight weeks with a knee injury, though there are still question marks over whether he is a perfect long term fit for the Reds. They are definitely lack a leader and although Martin Skrtel has quality, he doesn’t have the effect that Jamie Carragher once had.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Liverpool - Goodison Park

Klopp may also see what he can get out of Dejan Lovren, who arrived from Southampton on the back of a superb season. He has struggled to adjust to playing at Liverpool, though that could be because he was the main man in the Saints defence and getting to grips with this responsibility at such a big club, is perhaps a step too far.

However, with the right defensive partner, it might not be too much of a problem. It doesn’t matter which centre pairing Liverpool use, there doesn’t seem to be any understanding, at least while Rodgers was there.

Klopp needs to address this and whether he adjusts internally or looks elsewhere is something that he needs to decide and soon.


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Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.