Four points clear at the summit of the Premier League table and into the last 16 of the Champions League: the first half of the 2018/19 campaign could not have gone any better.
And so there’s no real reason for Jurgen Klopp to splash the cash in the winter transfer window, with plenty of quality in all positions.
Mind you, he went big last January to bring in £75 million Virgil van Dijk, and that’s a transfer that has worked out rather well!
The manager himself has not ruled out some movements. “I’m very happy with what I’ve got and what I have but, how I said, we don’t know,” Klopp has said.
“That’s the only little bit why I keep the door open because if some things happen – a few more things – then we need to have to have a look.
“There is coming a monstrous number of games still and it’s really important always that we can react, but as long as we can react it’s all good.
In short, you sense that Klopp will move in if the right player becomes available at the right price.
Analysing the Squad….And Areas for Improvement
One of the reasons that we have improved so markedly in the past year is that the club’s recruitment has been an overwhelming success.
The signings of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk have shored up the defence, and Andy Robertson has been a revelation since joining from lowly Hull.
Fabinho has added legs and composure in midfield, while Xherdan Shaqiri has already popped up with some key goals in his first four or five months at the club.
As for Naby Keita, the jury may still be out but he has shown a few glimpses of his true self in an injury-ravaged campaign.
In short, the Reds’ recruitment has taken the club to the next level.
There are, arguably, areas where we could still improve however.
Alisson Understudy Required
Nobody was ever really convinced by Simon Mignolet between the sticks, and so signing Alisson was something of a no-brainer.
That means that the Belgian is now very much the number two at Anfield, with first team appearances something of a rarity.
He did start against Wolves in the third round of the FA Cup, but was arguably at fault for the Midlanders’ first goal in the 1-2 defeat.
How long will Mignolet remain ‘subservient’ as Alisson’s understudy? That’s the million dollar question, and perhaps the time is right to bring in a young replacement who understands their place in the pecking order – while being relied upon to do the job when called upon.
Jack Butland springs to mind; we were heavily linked with a move for the Stoke shot-stopper in the summer, and that would have been as first choice had the Alisson deal not been completed.
His stock has fallen considerably – Stoke are a mid-table concern in the Championship right now, but that doesn’t mean he’s become a bad keeper overnight.
At 25, Butland is a decent age to be a second choice goalkeeper, and would surely relish the chance to play for the Reds.
And what about Nick Pope at Burnley? He can’t currently get a game after being sidelined with injury and subsequently replaced by Joe Hart, but he is a perfectly capable keeper and one available at a reasonable price too.
Adios to Alberto
As Andy Robertson has thrived as Liverpool’s first choice left back, the stock of his predecessor – Alberto Moreno – has fallen considerably.
The Spaniard has never been the strongest of players; indeed, he harks back to a bygone, and best forgotten, era at Anfield.
And yet, he continues to put his foot in it when talking about his future at the club.
“I hurt myself giving everything for this team and I think that when I came back from injury, I deserved an opportunity,” Moreno has said.
“The situation is normal for a lot of players but simply I did not like the way [Klopp] has treated me, you can say that.
“Moving back to Spain is something I have thought about.”
Perhaps a return to his homeland would suit all parties. But who could replace him as the understudy to Robertson at left back?
One option might be Ryan Sessegnon, an 18-year-old with a hug amount of potential.
The Fulham man had contributed two goals and five assists in 16 league starts this term, while serving up 1.2 key passes per 90 minutes (Robertson is currently at 1.4). He would need to improve on the defensive side of his game, but as a mere understudy learning his craft there’s lots of upside to Sessegnon.
Looking overseas, Angelino is a highly-rated left back at PSV.
The 22-year-old has contributed five assists to his side’s cause, and plays an average of 1.6 key passes per game.
The Spaniard has the defensive side to his game too, with 2.2 tackles per game, 1.4 interceptions and 2.1 clearances; all on a par with Robertson.
Clearly, the Eredivisie is a class below the Premier League, but as a young, affordable and talented full back Angelino ticks all of the boxes.