Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies – happy with that? How well has Michael Edwards done there on transfer deadline day?
A combined total of around £2.6m in loan and transfer fees for the pair is just a ludicrously good bit of business from the club, especially so close to the deadline and with everyone more than aware of how desperately we needed defensive reinforcements.
Rival fans will no doubt be quick to highlight Schalke’s dismal position in the Bundesliga, not to mention the fact we’ve bought a Championship defender, but I’ve no doubt these are signings that will have been thoroughly vetted.
Taking into account the pandemic and the Liverpool hierarchy’s prior reluctance to sanction any business in the winter window, I think Michael Edwards has done a remarkable job in the time available – is there anything the sporting director can’t pull off?
It’s not normally Liverpool who scramble around and leave things late – why do you think they did so this month?
In typical Liverpool fashion, we’ve been absolutely savaged by injuries this season in one particular position, which appears to have had something of a knock-on effect for the rest of the side, after Jurgen Klopp was forced to drag Fabinho (and, intermittently, Jordan Henderson) into the back four.
And even before Joel Matip was ruled out for the rest of the season, I think it was clear to most of us that a failure to bring in a new centre-half (as an absolute minimum) before the window closed would put our chances of Champions League qualification in serious jeopardy.
A big week has just passed in the Premier League with wins over Tottenham and West Ham. Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino appear to be back in form…
When Roberto Firmino plays well, Liverpool end up playing well as a whole, as was demonstrated to devastating effect against Tottenham.
I still think a big part of our forward line’s struggles can be linked to the absentees in defence, but there’s no doubting how vital a cog the Brazilian is on his day, nor how important an upturn in form for the No.9 will be for our hopes of retaining the title.
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It feels bizarre speaking about the Premier League’s top-scorer as out of form, but I’m sure we were all happy to forget about Mohamed Salah’s six-game scoreless run in the league after that stunning outing against West Ham.
We’ve hailed that two-pass counter to double the lead against David Moyes’ men as vintage Liverpool under Klopp, and rightly so, but I personally can’t stop thinking about the Egyptian’s first effort in traffic to open the scoring.
Can Liverpool still win the league title and was talk of a decline vastly exaggerated?
This Liverpool side is not getting the credit it deserves given the number of injuries sustained, and to key players no less. To be four points away from the league leaders without our starting centre-back duo is no mean feat.
Can Liverpool win the league? Absolutely! Whether they will, however, is entirely up for debate in light of Manchester City’s current form, though you’d have to think that our chances have been significantly boosted following a successful foray in the transfer market.
Concern over the side’s form was warranted, though I do think it was in large part due to the domino effect of injuries suffered rather than indicating any systemic issues.
I think things have been somewhat exaggerated – a full-strength Liverpool side would be top of the table right now.
It’s going to be a big week ahead with Brighton on Wednesday and then Man City at the weekend. How will the table look come Sunday night?
Massive weekend for us. Pep Guardiola’s men have been flying of late, and you’d expect the Cityzens to extend their lead at the league summit against Burnley mid-week.
A win against Brighton would put us in a good position ahead of our rivals’ visit to Anfield, however, and the lads always turn things up a gear against quality opposition.
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If I had to make a prediction, I reckon Liverpool will cut the gap with a big performance on our home turf on Sunday – we’ll certainly need one to have any hope of retaining the title.
Any other business?
The big question on my mind has to be what Jurgen Klopp intends to do with his brand new centre-back options.
Presumably, the idea is to start both Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak together in the near future, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to see one of the two paired with Fabinho for the pivotal clash with City.
That being said, we’ve been surprised by defensive signings before, so who knows!
By bringing in two centre-halves, it will surely encourage Klopp to push the Brazilian back into the midfield where his quality has been dearly missed.
At the very least, it should mean that Henderson’s days of deputising at the back are now officially over.