Amid all the talk hyping Liverpool up as title contenders, the loss to Newcastle United seems to have put the brakes on the title parade and reminded us all that Jurgen Klopp has more of a project on his hands than we initially thought.
The Premier League crown may be a tad ambitious, but reaching the top four is certainly an achievable aim. There has clearly been progress since Klopp’s instillation at the helm in October, having beaten the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City with relative ease.
The Newcastle game was unlucky in the way Alberton Moreno’s screamer should have stood, and a fit Daniel Sturridge would have surely buried his chance when seemingly through on goal. However, the performance did not do a lot to deserve anything from the game and the loss to Crystal Palace was largely a similar story.
Perhaps it won’t be as easy as we all thought after the annihilation of Man City, and the squad could do with some rounding out.
The German will need time to impose his style on Merseyside and the addition of some players he truly believes will help him to do so.
With that in mind, here are FIVE BOLD January transfer targets to boost Liverpool’s top four hopes…
Despite the public backing of Simon Mignolet, the Belgian ‘keeper has failed to convince fans and pundits alike that he is of the required standard to mind the net of a club like Liverpool.
In light of this, and especially after his Bordeaux blunder, Stoke City man Jack Butland has been linked with a move to Anfield. The 22-year-old has distanced himself from such rumours, but we all know that doesn’t mean an awful lot in the modern game.
The England international has been sensational this year, emerging as a genuine contender for Joe Hart’s previously undisputed Number 1 jersey for the Three Lions. While he’s likely to command a huge fee, the former Birmingham youngster is a long-term option and worthy of any excess that may arise from the premium placed on English players.
He would certainly be an improvement on what Klopp already has and could be the Anfield custodian for another 15 years.
Neven Subotic was one of the stalwarts of Klopp’s impressive reign at Borussia Dortmund and has failed to rule out a move away in January.
The 26-year old Serbian international was a favourite during Klopp’s time in Germany and could help shore up a defence that is questionable on the odd occasion. Subotic would be a vast improvement on Dejan Lovren and his arrival would spark competition between Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho.
While he’s not Mats Hummels, the Serb is solid and would certainly take the defence up another level.
We did say BOLD transfer rumours. The 22-year-old is one of the most highly rated young players in world football thanks to his 31-goal form for the San Siro outfit last term.
With any young player, the Argentina international has suffered a slight dip in form this season under Roberto Mancini but has been linked with a £35m move to Anfield.
As Daniel Sturridge is always on the verge of another injury, the Argentine would be a huge statement of intent should he be secured. Money spent now will be money saved in the future as he is likely to become one of the top frontmen in the game later in his career.
Lucas Moura is perhaps ideal for Klopp at the present moment. While he has failed to live up to the hype in the French capital, the PSG man has been battling it out for places with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani for large parts of his time there.
Ever since Raheem Sterling and Lazar Markovic left, the Reds have lacked out and out wide options. Jordon Ibe is proving to be an exciting prospect, but other than defender Alberto Moreno, he is the only natural wide option.
Moura is jet heeled and full of energy. The Brazilian has previously been linked with Manchester United, but reported Anfield interest is emerging. He would be an excellent signing, a player to truly drag them away from the mind numbingly ineffective possession based football imposed by Brendan Rodgers.
The least glamorous of the aforementioned names, but Swansea star Andre Ayew has been linked with a move to Anfield. The Reds lack a wide forward as the unbalanced squad contains a plethora of Number 10s, four natural strikers, but barely any wide options.
Though he only arrived at Swansea in the summer, the Ghanaian has been mightily impressive at the Liberty Stadium amid the Swans’ struggles. Should Klopp come in with an offer, it’s not hard to imagine the club accepting due to their current situation.
He would add goals from wide areas as well as a creative spark on either the right or left. Able to cut inside and support a central striker, the 25-year-old has qualities for the Merseyside giants are crying out for.