The hope will be that it’s a bluff. An attempt to keep fans from getting excited about a signing that might not be made or to make us look less desperate to a potential seller. The reality is that it probably isn’t a bluff and that it looks as though Liverpool won’t be making any signings before the transfer window shuts.
“Philippe Coutinho is not a player to replace in this transfer window,” Jürgen Klopp’s said when pressed on transfers at today’s pre-match press conference. “We have to stop thinking about it. Barca paid big money as he is a rare player but it is not about replacing, it is about using our tools, our tactics, all that stuff.”
With Coutinho sold and Sturridge likely on his way out to Newcastle United, it’s a potentially reckless stance for the Liverpool manager to take—that with his first choice targets unavailable right now, he’s going to stick with the squad he has on hand, a squad that at the moment looks distressingly lacking in depth.
And the problems of depth go beyond their sales. At the start of the season, Liverpool looked as strong and deep as they had in years, but to go with two January sales there are now serious injury concerns surrounding Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana both looking as though they can’t be counted on to stay healthy.
Coming off a string of injuries, Henderson hasn’t looked at his best at any point this season and has managed just 1,273 minutes in the league so far—about two-thirds of the minutes played so far. Lallana, though, has played just 152 league minutes this season—and having just returned, now he’s out injured again.
If both are missing due to injury at any point from here out, it would leave Dominic Solanke, Danny Ings, and James Milner the top attack and midfield options off the bench as Liverpool battle for the top four and look to advance in the Champions League. It’s a situation that is alarming, or at least most fans feel it is.
Klopp, though, appears to believe otherwise. Hopefully his belief will be proven right and any concerns will turn out to be groundless. It’s a major gamble, though, one that risks Liverpool dropping out of the Champions League places and ending up with a season that can only be counted a total and complete failure.
“In the long term, we will do a lot,” the Liverpool manager added. “In the short term, I don’t think we will do a lot.”