The January transfer window is open and that inevitably means a host of names will be linked to Liverpool, but who is expected to headline this month’s activity?
With a size the club of Liverpool you are bound to have links stretching from tenuous to questionable and anywhere in between, meaning few ever hit the bullseye.
After an injury-ravaged start to the 2020/21 season, primarily at centre-back, the Reds’ activity in the winter window has been a source of intrigue.
In the meantime, countless players will be linked with making a move to Anfield and here are just a handful who will find their name associated with the champions this month.
After long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez and Joel Matip struggling to string a number of games together without breaking down, it comes as no surprise that a centre-back dominates the agenda.
So much so that countless players from across the continent have been tied to Liverpool.
While Fabinho has more than held his own and the likes of Jordan Henderson, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have filled in amicably, the Reds’ system has been destabilised and a specialist with more experience is certainly required.
Most recently, Braga’s David Carmo and Lille’s Sven Botman have been tied to a switch alongside Salzburg’s Maximilian Wober and their names will no doubt continue to surface this month.
They all represent young options with room to grow and to able to be moulded into the defender Liverpool desire as all are aged 22 and under, with Botman the youngest at 20 – who you can see certainly fits the grade here.
The trend continues with Torino’s Gleison Bremer, Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and Dayot Upamecano from Leipzig, with the former the oldest of the bunch at 23.
Aissa Mandi has been the outlier at 29 years of age but links have cooled since the summer with it becoming increasingly clear that the agenda is a squad player who is capable of slotting in immediately before taking to the bench and continuing his development.
And at this point, it would not prove surprising to see Ben White‘s name resurface despite signing an extension with Brighton in the summer, with his versatility a valuable asset.
There seems to be a consensus that one will be signed, sealed and delivered in 2021, the question is if Liverpool can find the right fit and move their timeline up to January.
The title bid could very well rest on such a decision.
The 24-year-old represents a potential future without Gini Wijnaldum, with the midfielder having show similarities between himself and the Dutchman at Brighton.
Bissouma is widely regarded as a combative and technically gifted player, blossoming in the Premier League after some early wobbles to become an ever-present in Graham Potter’s side.
His agent claimed late last year that Liverpool are one of six sides to hold “significant interest” in him – which includes two from La Liga.
He is valued in the region of £30 million which is certainly an achievable figure for a player who shows plenty of promise in acting as the link between the defence and attack.
Entertaining and assured, Bissouma is one to watch and with Wijnaldum’s future still up in the air at a time he is able to speak to clubs overseas, the Brighton man’s name popping up would come right on time.
Liverpool are known to sign players who have consigned them to defeat and scored against them in recent years so Grealish would not be too big of a stretch.
His future has come under increasing scrutiny throughout what has been an eye-catching campaign to date for the Aston Villa captain, scoring six goals and setting up nine in 16 appearances.
The 25-year-old was one of the masterminds behind the Reds’ 7-2 defeat earlier in the season and has found the strongest links tying him to Man United.
A two-time Champions League and nine-time Bundesliga winner, Alaba is one of the biggest names in the shop window in 2021 having failed to extend terms with Bayern Munich.
Predictably, he is not short of suitors as he becomes a free agent in the summer – ensuring he is a lucrative prospect at a time of financial uncertainty.
The Reds have been repeatedly spoken as one of a number of clubs keeping an eye on the star Austrian, but it is widely expected he will join Real Madrid.
His wage demands would be a factor for Liverpool but one cannot argue with the world-class quality he oozes and the versatility to match, as he is able to slot in at centre-back and left-back in addition to his regular midfield duties.
It is one the club should consider but it appears his name may only be a link rather than an actionable potential signing.