LIVERPOOL'S EXPENSIVE DEFENSIVE CONUNDRUM
With just days of the January transfer window left remaining, many are still waiting for a gargantuan piece of business to really get things going and although we live hope, the expectation will likely be something altogether different.
Because with the market in a state of depression, the ability let alone the desire to complete a big money move has been seriously diminished and it is because of this, that short-term loans seem to be the order of the day.
However, these last few days of the year’s first month, can see clubs operate rather quickly and if the right target can be identified for the right price, then there is still plenty of time left to complete any outstanding interest.
Which is something that Liverpool supporters are hoping is the case, as their defensive woes continue to come to the fore and after an indifferent run of results since the turn of the year, they have ceded ground to the nearest rivals.
Much has been made of a misfiring attack in recent times, but the ongoing issue has been their defence and with a litany of injuries being collected throughout the season, manager Jurgen Klopp has had to deal with something resembling a patchwork quilt at the back.
The cast of names at centre back has changed with alarming regularity and for all the chopping and changing that the former Borussia Dortmund manager has had to make, it is the long-term absence of Virgil Van Dijk which poses the biggest question.
That’s because, to fill the void that the Dutch international has left behind, is a task that cannot be completed on the cheap and even within the confines of a sluggish market, Liverpool would still need to make an outlay in the region of £50m.
Of course, it would be remiss to suggest that the Merseyside outfit do not have these funds, it's just that they may only need a temporary fix until the end of the season and because of this, a dilemma may soon be presented to the club.
If they are to use the money that is available, it may end up being additional expense for someone who then becomes out of favour once Van Dijk likely makes a full recovery and therefore, sourcing reinforcements before the end of the month might not make sense.
Then again, it is no coincidence that Liverpool’s form has gone south without a genuine towering defensive presence and if the defending Premier League champions are going to retain the trophy, this might be the best money that they have spent in a while.
However, the balancing act becomes rather tricky, as although they are well stocked when everyone is fit and available, now the cupboards are all but bare and with their younger talents perhaps falling short of the mark, now is the time to open the purse strings.
Ultimately, it is a case of who would be available at this present moment in time and even though Liverpool have the funds and possess the desire to purchase, a lack of suitable options may see them begrudgingly stick with what they have.