While we all love a new signing (shiny new toys are always exciting ) the age profile of Liverpool’s core squad members has meant that the past three — as well as the next one, possibly two — transfer windows are key for the squad when it comes to succession planning.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on club finances made a number of Liverpool fans, including myself, quite nervous. The lower revenue and the general fiscal uncertainty might well have impacted the club’s long-term planning, and since the club’s two main rivals are not really affected by such financial winds, we worried.
Many were nervous about lack of movement in the last summer window, though the acquisition of Ibrahima Konaté already looks to be a strong defensive addition. While he’s not been perfect, the level of his performances thus far suggest great things, particularly as he grows into a more typical centerback age profile.
Through most of January things seemed quiet, which I’m sure made us all a bit nervy, the signing of Díaz (a good-looking attacking talent) and potential future signing of 19-year-old Fabio Carvalho from Fulham (himself a promising attacking midfielder) suggest that the club is moving forward with its succession plans.
This is a crucial point: despite general injury concerns and worries about AFCON, the Reds are currently focused on sustaining top-level competitiveness over the long term, not in buying to fill gaps apparent right now.
Díaz and, should the deal be done, Carvalho are players who fit well with the side and benefit the squad’s age profile. Konaté has had a similar impact in defense. With such signings arriving and agreeing to terms, it’s hard not to get carried away in optimism for the next window. So what rumors do we have?
Well, Kylian Mbappe is of course at the front of every transfer rumor to top clubs, even if it’s “almost certain” that the player is headed to Real Madrid.
Nonetheless, ESPN insist Liverpool (and Manchester City) “maintain interest” in the player — whatever that might mean. Of course, unless something drastically changes, the likes of Mbappe’s wages likely remain beyond Liverpool’s means.
Interestingly, Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb have linked Liverpool with Juventus free agent, 28-year-old Paolo Dyabala. While Dyabala has been linked with Inter Milan, the player might consider a free transfer to Liverpool (given the Reds can cover his wage demands, as well — a stumbling block noted by the Liverpool Echo).
ESPN also reports that Liverpool have jjoined Manchester City in “monitoring” Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, with Saka more likely to make a move if Arsenal miss out on Champions League football. The English international has certainly been a bright spot for the London side, and his creativity and attacking confidence would be a useful addition to this Liverpool side.
Are any of these moves likely? Who’s to say — but there’s nothing like a surprise January move to make you dare to dream about the next window.