January is an important and interesting month for every club in the Premier League. But, as with many topics at the moment, interested eyes are turning to Liverpool to see who will be arriving and departing form Anfield this winter. Just what their transfer tactics are remains to be seen, will they try to right their immediate wrongs or look to the future?
Roy Hodgson, who obviously thought that he would be able to see out longer than a few months of his three-year contract, brought in a mix of players in the summer. He supplemented the signing of seasoned professionals such as Paul Konchesky and Christian Poulsen with young players like Jonjo Shelvey and Danny Wilson in order to try and secure Liverpool’s present and their future. But what can we expect from the new man at the helm?
Dalglish is a Liverpool man, he loves the club and the club loves him, and as much as I’m sure he’d love to leave an even more impressive legacy at the club by bringing in some talented kids, he must surely fix the here and now. Let’s face it, as promising as the new management team of Dalglish and Steve Clarke might appear, the team are still a bit of a shambles. Dalglish, as it stands, is only around for the short term, so he knows that he needs to start getting results immediately and he should act accordingly.
Liverpool quite clearly need a striker to partner Fernando Torres and a defender to compete with Glen Johnson for the right-back spot, and Dalglish will find out what funds he has at his disposal within the next few days. Endless speculation saw the likes of Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, Emmanuel Adebayor and Johan Elmander linked with ‘Pool in December, but with the new manager in place it is unclear who his transfer priorities will be.
Dalglish has been somewhat coy over the subject of transfers to the media recently: “I’m sure they’ll improve but whether there’s going to be any players coming in or moving around I don’t know. I can always make a request; it might not always be accepted. If there is the possibility of bringing somebody in we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. At the moment I’ve not asked for anybody and I’ve not enquired for finances.”
Despite his desire to avoid the subject of transfer targets, Dalglish must have some names in the back of his mind – he’d be foolish not to. This season’s Premier League is wide open and, despite losing as many games as West Ham, they are still in with a shout at a decent league finish if they can muster a strong second half to the season. Imagine the lift the club would get should they end a pretty dismal season by finishing in the top six? It might not be the top four finish that Reds fans have previously become accustomed to, but in the circumstances I imagine that they’d take it.
Dalglish needs to act to get the fans excited about the team again and I’m sure that the new owners will be keen to show the Anfield faithful that they want to make a success of their time at Liverpool, so I’d expect two or three new faces to arrive during the window.
Liverpool will not get relegated, of that I am sure, so why not make a signing or two to signal the club’s ambition and show that they are looking at who’s above them rather than who’s below them? All that Dalglish should be worried about is ensuring that Liverpool finish as high in the table as possible, so with that in mind he should only be bringing players who can help him do that. If Dalglish keeps the job on a permanent basis then he can look at bringing in youngsters, but until then the length of his contract much be reflected in his transfer policy.