When Liverpool managed a net spend of only £33,550,000 during last summer's transfer window, many hoped that the remainder of the rumoured £60,000,000 transfer kitty might be spent in January should the club need reinforcements. A poor start to the season, an inability to score goals, and lack of quality depth between the posts certainly qualified as needs to be addressed in fans' eyes, but the war chest remained closed and Liverpool's window closed without much fanfare.
Who's In (£0)
Jordon Ibe. Yep, that's literally it. Ibe was recalled from his Derby County loan spell to help shore up Liverpool's tepid attack. Ibe is cup-tied for domestic cup competitions, putting him out of contention early on in the League Cup and keeping him out of this week's FA Cup replay versus Bolton, but he could prove to be a helpful option from the bench in Liverpool's upcoming Europa League ties against Besiktas.
Of course, Daniel Sturridge's return from injury fills the "like a new signing!" joke quotient, and it would be funnier if it wasn't absolutely true. Sturridge scored upon being substituted on the weekend against West Ham, and the difference between a Liverpool side including him and one that does not cannot be underestimated.
Who's Out (£5,700,000)
Suso's departure for more money and playing time at AC Milan left many feeling very cold, not least of all due to the small transfer fee the club received (£1M) in lieu of letting him go on a free this summer.
From the "Who?" files, poor Oussama Assaidi finally found a way out of the club after never finding a way into Brendan Rodgers' good graces and spending two seasons on loan in the deepest depths of Mordor. Al Ahli Club in Dubai were happy to spend more on the marginalized player than Liverpool paid for him in the first place in 2012, and Stoke City saw their second loan for the player cut short to accommodate the sale.
Liverpool's youngsters saw more movement than the senior team. Lloyd Jones extended his loan spell at Cheltenham Town, Ryan McLaughlin is set to help Rotherham United fight their relegation battle in the Championship, and Sheyi Ojo will spend the rest of the season at Wigan under the tutelage of Malkay Mackay.
So, What's the Verdict? (Net Spend: -£5,700,000)
Liverpool were connected with rumours up until the eleventh hour, and all but one turned out to be fairly unsubstantiated. Aston Villa's last minute £5m bid for Rickie Lambert was the surprise link of the day, as they were one of the few relegation threatened clubs that hadn't yet been connected with the Liverpool man. It's still unclear as to how or why the deal fell apart, but Lambert will remain with his current club until the end of the season.
Liverpool's other near miss was for Burnley's Danny Ings, who only recently emerged as a transfer target when Liverpool but in a bid that was eventually rejected by the player's club. There is still potential for both clubs to confirm the player's transfer to Liverpool once the next window opens, potentially making him Liverpool's first summer signing should the deal go through.
It's hard to call the window a disappointment given that the expectations for doing business were so incredibly low to begin with. Securing an additional senior striker or a keeper with enough quality to genuinely challenge Simon Mignolet seemed top of mind for many, but once more Brendan Rodgers seemed to believe in the power of galvinis(z)ing his existing squad into action for the second half of the season. Hey, it worked last year.