10 questions for Liverpool in the final fortnight of the January transfer window

17 January 2018

There January transfer window closes two weeks today; we take a look at what may or may not materialise over this next fortnight.


It has already been a relatively busy month for the Reds, both on and off the pitch.

Philippe Coutinho has left for Barcelona, but Virgil van Dijk has arrived from Southampton, both moving for record fees.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side’s excellent form has continued, with Sunday’s epic 4-3 win over Man City a result of real significance.

It is now 18 matches unbeaten for the Reds and next up is a trip to bottom-place Swansea City on Monday night.

With the transfer window closing on January 31, there are still incomings and outgoings that need to be sorted.

Here are 10 remaining questions that stand out this month.

 

Will Lemar interest come to fruition?

France's Goal and Joy Thomas lemar during the France vs Netherlands 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifying Match at State de France stadium in Saint-Denis, near Paris, France on August 31, 2017. France won 4-0. Photo by Christian Liewig/ABACAPRESS.COM

With Naby Keita staying put at Leipzig until the summer and Coutinho gone, reinforcements are needed in attacking midfield.

Granted, Liverpool were magnificent in the middle of the park against Man City, but a lack of top quality depth there is now evident.

Klopp is being very cagey about any potential signings, but it would be a surprise if further efforts weren’t made to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar this month.

The 22-year-old is seen as one of Liverpool’s main transfer targets, and constant rumours have suggested a £90 million move may come to fruition in January.

A summer arrival feels more likely, but the club are impossible to predict these days.

 

Will there be a surprise addition?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, August 11, 2017: Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Earlier in the month, there were suggestions that a “mystery man” may make the switch to Anfield in January – a signing out of nothing.

Those reports seem to have cooled a bit, but does Klopp have a stellar purchase up his sleeve?

The likes of Christian Pulisic, Riyad Mahrez, Julian Draxler and Mauro Icardi are all names who have been mentioned – any of them would be great additions.

Don’t bet against a shock signing occurring before the month is out.

 

Is Sturridge’s time at Anfield up?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 1, 2017: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge warms-up before the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and NK Maribor at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Daniel Sturridge‘s Liverpool career looked to be a great one in the first 18 months, but injuries have destroyed his progress.

The 28-year-old is now very much a squad player and he is reported to be keen on leaving Anfield before the window shuts, with £30 million believed to grant him that request.

There has been interest from other clubs, including Southampton, Newcastle and West Ham, and if Sturridge is to have any chance of making England’s World Cup squad this summer, a move is required.

Should he leave, it will be a low-key end to a five-year spell that has seen many moments of brilliance.

 

Is January too soon for a new goalkeeper?

Loris Karius again failed his audition as Liverpool’s No.1 at the weekend, allowing Leroy Sane’s shot past his near post.

It is plain to see that top-class goalkeeper must arrive to take the Reds to the next level, but will that happen in January?

The chances appear slim, with Karius now looking set to have an extended run in the team, but it should still be encouraged.

Roma’s Allison and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak have both been linked with the club, and either would be a tremendous addition.

Don’t bank on it happening this month.

 

Are Woodburn, Wilson and Ward going to go out on loan?

CARDIFF, WALES - Monday, March 20, 2017: Liverpool's Under-23 duo Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn join up with the Wales senior squad for the forthcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group D match against Republic of Ireland. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Liverpool’s first-team flying at the moment, chances for youngsters to come in and impress are few and far between.

Because of this, three of the club’s best young players, Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson and Danny Ward, could do with a spell on loan until the end of the season.

Huge things are expected of Woodburn in the future, but he has only made one League Cup appearance in 2017/18, and is too good for the U23s. He needs regular football in the Championship, ideally.

Wilson is another who cannot keep playing in the younger age groups, and he needs to ply his trade elsewhere for a few months, in order to grow as a player.

Ward is very much third-choice behind Simon Mignolet and Karius, despite their respective shortcomings, and he won’t play for Liverpool any time soon.

Whether or not any of the trio leave this month remains to be seen, but it would be a missed opportunity if they stayed put.

 

Is Ings set for pastures new?

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 29, 2017: Liverpool's Danny Ings during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much like Sturridge, it is difficult to see Danny Ings being part of Klopp’s future plans at Liverpool.

He has suffered horrendous bad luck after picking up back-to-back cruciate ligament injuries, and there is every chance he will never be the same player again.

Ings needs to join a team who can offer him a first-choice starting role up front, or least second-choice, and January is a good opportunity for him to move on.

Of course, if he is allowed to leave, along with Sturridge, striking reinforcements are essential for the Reds.

 

What next for Flanagan?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2017: Liverpool's Jon Flanagan looks dejected as his side lose 2-0 during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Leicester City and Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having been something of a cult hero after some excellent performances in 2013/14, Jon Flanagan‘s reputation has suffered in both his personal and professional life since.

The 25-year-old has absolutely no future at Liverpool, and internal disciplinary proceedings may see his contract terminated.

If not, would a club come in for him on loan given his recent indiscretions?

 

Can Grujic shine at Cardiff?

DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Saturday, August 5, 2017: Liverpool's Marko Grujic applauds the supporters after a preseason friendly match between Athletic Club Bilbao and Liverpool at the Aviva Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are a few contenders for ‘Liverpool’s Forgotten Man Award’, and Marko Grujic has to be in the reckoning.

The Serb hasn’t managed to nail down a regular midfield berth over the last 18 months and has now joined Cardiff on loan for the rest of the season.

It’s a move that’s much needed for the 21-year-old and it will be interesting to see what impact he has at Championship level. A failure to impress there will surely see a departure again in the summer, either on loan again or even permanently.

 

Will Bogdan ever play football again?

WATFORD, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 20, 2015: Liverpool's goalkeeper Adam Bogdan looks dejected as Watford score from his mistake during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

You could be forgiven for forgetting Adam Bogdan even exists, but incredibly, the goalkeeper is still a Liverpool player.

The Hungarian has not played for the Reds since the final day of the 2015/16 season, when he started in a 1-1 draw at West Brom.

He has since enjoyed a brief loan spell at Wigan, but at the moment, but all he is doing currently is twiddling his thumbs at Anfield.

You would have thought the player himself would want first-team football somewhere, and if Liverpool receive any kind of offer, they should accept.

At the moment, he is just an unnecessary addition to the club’s wage bill.

 

Will anyone take forgotten man Markovic?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, September 22, 2017: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Just like Bogdan, it is almost embarrassing to call Lazar Markovic a Liverpool player these days.

The Serb arrived as such an exciting, highly-rated youngster in 2014, but he has never reached the required standards, and must be sold.

It is worrying that a 23-year-old wouldn’t be keen for another challenge elsewhere, and says all you need to know about his desire at the top level.

If someone is willing to take a punt on him this month, it would bring an end to a Reds career that has mustered just three goals in 34 appearances.

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