The January transfer Window was eagerly anticipated by Liverpool fans from just seconds after the summer window had shut. A frustrating period that saw the Reds’ squad woefully short of attacking options, something that Brendan Rodgers later admitted. Recruitments in January were demanded from supporters and manager alike, especially in attacking areas, to ensure the club could challenge for Champions League qualification.
Prior to the window opening, a host of players were linked with moves to Anfield to fill the gaps in Rodgers squad, particularly in the attacking areas. But there was a consistency to a couple of names, one of which was Daniel Sturridge. A pleasing beginning to the month saw the 23 year old join the club on only the second day of the window, showing that the Anfield hierarchy finally recognised more fire power and financial backing was required.
Sturridge’s arrival coincided with the return of Fabio Borini to full fitness and with Luis Suarez in the form of his Anfield career so far, we now had the options we had so badly craved for 4 months. Incomings were great, but it was clear that a balance was needed with outgoings. The permanent departures of two high earning players in Joe Cole and Nuri Sahin, who secured moves to West Ham and Borrusia Dortmund respectively, created room for more arrivals.
Phillipe Coutinho and Tom Ince were the next targets identified but it was the Brazilian who finalised a move to Merseyside. The £8.5 million signing from Inter Milan didn’t go down too well with the Inter faithful. They had lost ‘the future of the club’. A tricky, pacey, cultured and creative player who can produce something out of nothing, this is an exciting signing that the management deserve credit for pulling off.
Meanwhile, Ince looks like a ‘project’ that those in charge will revisit in the summer after his move back to the club didn’t materialise for what seems contrasting valuations from both parties. Reports suggest the player himself has his heart set on a return to the club.
With the tough negotiation strategy that has seen Coutinho arrive relatively cheaply and Sturridge sign for a respectable fee, it is no surprise to see the club refuse to buckle to demands. And the new negotiation tactic isn’t a bad thing, when we think back to some of the money spent in recent windows that was crazy to say the least. Ince is out of contract in the summer and the fee will instead be set by an FA tribunal.
There were loan to follow moves for Danny Wilson (Hearts, end of season), Michael Ngoo (Hearts, end of season), Daniel Pacheco (Sociedad Deportiva Huesca, end of season) and forgotten goalkeeper Alexander Doni had his contract terminated.
Everyone knew January was going to be an important month for Liverpool but more to the point, it turned out to be a good one. With underperforming high earners gone, a striker signed who has 3 goals in 4 appearances and a signing of someone who can now provide that little bit of magic in the final third, we now have the personnel to propel us up the league and something we lacked for too long – options.