While it was a relatively quiet January transfer window for the men’s team, Liverpool Women added five new players to their squad, including the signing of a familiar face on deadline day.
In their first season back in the Women’s Super League, Matt Beard’s side are currently ninth in the table and are facing a battle to avoid relegation.
Their most recent match, a 3-2 defeat to Chelsea, saw them knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round, while they also bowed out of the Continental League Cup last week.
Full focus will now be on retaining their WSL status ahead of next season, with Beard strengthening his squad with five new additions in January.
Liverpool rounded off their business with the signing of Natasha Dowie on loan from Reading on transfer deadline day.
Things we love to see…@tatsdowie back in Red ? pic.twitter.com/zN5cYMJu1S
— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) January 31, 2023
The striker returns for a second spell on a deal which runs until the end of this season, with Dowie previously enjoying a hugely successful three seasons with the club under Beard from 2013 to 2015.
“I think the biggest thing for us is that Tats is a goalscorer,” Beard told Liverpoolfc.com after Dowie’s return was confirmed.
“If you look at her record, it’s consistently a goal every other game throughout her career.
“When the opportunity arose to bring her in – the fact she’s a Liverpool fan as well – we felt it was a good move for us and a good move for her.”
In total, Dowie scored 45 goals in 66 appearances for Liverpool in her first spell.
She will not be eligible to face her former club in the WSL this coming Sunday, but will be available to take on Leicester on February 12.
The Reds also welcomed back former captain Gemma Bonner prior to Christmas, with the 31-year-old rejoining the club after a spell with Racing Louisville FC in the USA.
The centre-back captained Liverpool to WSL titles in 2013 and 2014 under Beard and will inject experience and leadership into the team.
Sofie Lundgaard, meanwhile, adds fresh legs in midfield after leaving Fortuna Hjorring in her native Denmark. She describes her game as “powerful” and likes to “make a lot of goals.”
It’s an area Liverpool need to improve with only 11 goals scored in nine league games, the joint-third worst return in the division.
Midway through January, the club also announced the signing of 23-year-old Japan international Fuka Nagano from The North Carolina Courage.
Beard says the former Asia Young Player of the Year is comfortable in a number of different roles in midfield.
Miri Taylor was the next midfielder to arrive, joining from Angel City FC in Los Angeles. Another midfielder, Taylor emerged from the Chelsea youth set-up, making a first-team debut at just 16, before spending a year at Arsenal.
On the outgoing front, Charlotte Wardlaw has returned to Chelsea after the conclusion of her loan deal, while centre-back Gilly Flaherty announced her retirement after a record-breaking 177 WSL games.