What every fan of the sport hopes for in every transfer window is that one player. The one special talent that can take their side over the top. The one guy who can walk in to the side and make a massive impact that improves the club's fortunes. That one guy who, when the match is on the line, you feel like you can count on to make the difference.
Liverpool has had tremendous luck in finding that player in recent winters. Last season saw the arrival of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, who made the side a lot more fun to watch down the stretch. Three seasons ago they brought in Luis Suarez, who as we all know has become the center of all things attack at Anfield.
Trying to strike gold again will be a difficult task, but a worthwhile one if it can be done. With that in mind, let's look at a pair of candidates who could come in and instantly leave their mark on this Liverpool side.
Antoine Griezmann, 22, Left Wing, Real Sociedad
Iker Muniain, 21, Left Wing, Athletic Bilbao
Both Griezmann and Muniain are dynamic players in the attacking midfield band. They work primarily off the left wing, but both players are capable of operating effectively all along the attacking midfield band. That kind of versatility meshes well with the way Brendan Rodgers structures his attack, and will give him more options to deploy and keep opposing managers guessing.
Griezmann and Muniain are both tricky technical players with bags of tricks tucked in to their boots. Griezmann has a knack for being on one side of a defender one second, and in the next second being past him with the defender left wondering what on earth just happened. Once he has space, he cuts inside to shoot or lay off to a running teammate in a better position to put the ball in the net. Griezmann also has a talent for serving up set pieces, dropping the ball in to bits of space to hopefully land on the foot of someone in a position to finish the job.
Muniain is the kind of little attacker who knows all the tricks and flicks to keep defenders off-balance, but also knows when it's time to turn on the jets and dribble past someone. He's fantastic in tight spaces, especially at finding a teammate nearby in a better position. He's also a dedicated presser, working up and down the pitch trying to disrupt the opposition's attack.
Both players should be pretty gettable. Sociedad fell out of European competition altogether when they secured only one point in the Champions League group stage, and Bilbao has been in shaky financial shape for a few years. As both clubs are in Spain, both players have legally-obligated release clauses; Greizmann's release clause is reported to be in the range of €25-30 million, and Muniain's is believed to be about €36 million. Sociedad supposedly want to hold out for Griezmann's full release clause, but it's not an unreasonable total for the French starlet. As for Muniain, it's believed that while Bilbao would prefer to force his release clause is triggered, they might settle for an offer in the upper €20 million range.
If Liverpool want to make a big splash and enhance their starting lineup in a big way next month, this is the way to do it. It's just a matter of Rodgers and the transfer committee deciding which player fits the squad better and doing what needs to be done to get him.