With four days to go before the January transfer window ends, Liverpool are making plenty of big money moves. Just so far those moves have all been on the sponsorship front, with Vauxhall, Dunkin Donuts, and now Garuda Indonesia jumping to link their brands to Liverpool's. When it comes to players, though, there remains nothing to get excited about, and Brendan Rodgers certainly couldn't be accused of looking to get anybody's hopes up.
"I wouldn't bring in a player here in January, unless he's an outstanding player—even on loan—unless he's going to improve the team," insisted Rodgers at his pre-Everton press conference. "If no players come in that will galvanise us even more. We've got a good set of players. And I can play young players from the youth academy. We’re a team out there on merit. We've got a group here fighting and we are focusing on what we have."
Rodgers can speak of his side being galvanised, but if the window ends without reinforcements in midfield and at fullback, most will see it as a lost opportunity for Liverpool to strengthen their top four credentials at a time when the club has been given its best chance in years to return to the Champions League. For most, such a result would be seen as a failure. Combined with a poor result against Everton on Tuesday, it would be a disaster.
Down to three fit senior midfielders following the injury to Lucas Leiva, Rodgers admitted that Joe Allen remains a doubt after sitting out Saturday's FA Cup tie against Bournemouth. If Allen can't go, Liverpool head into the most important derby in years with two fit senior midfielders. Add in the continuing injury crisis at fullback that sees the club without its first choice players on both sides, and all the talk of fight and focus and being galvanised starts to ring a little hollow.
"Nothing has changed from the weekend," said Rodgers. "We still have 24 hours to assess one or two of our players, but otherwise we'll be pretty much the same as the weekend. It's just a case of assessing Joe on whether this game is going to push him too much and whether he's fully fit. What we don't want is another injury.
"Maybe if we had a raft of players, we could put him in and if he came out of the team we'd have someone else to put in. At this moment in time, we don't have that, so we have to think not only about tomorrow night, but the coming weeks because we've got some very important games."
The manager also revealed that despite earlier suggestions he was in contention to at least make the bench for Liverpool's last two games, Mamadou Sakho was still two to three weeks from returning to action. With the French centre half still rehabilitating from his hamstring injury and Daniel Agger also out of action, it leaves Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure to start tomorrow against Everton behind the midfield duo of Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard.
Rodgers and Liverpool may claim to be galvanised by the prospect, both for Everton on Tuesday and in the coming weeks. Most fans, though, will admit to being mildly terrified by it.