If you polled a hundred Liverpool fans, it’s likely that not a single one of them would say that the club had a successful January transfer window, signing attacker Cody Gakpo to start the window but then stepping back while their rivals all worked hard to strengthen.
Liverpool have appeared to need at least one major midfield signing for at least two years now—and that need has likely grown to two or even three as each subsequent window has passed without that necessary reinforcement joining up with the Merseysiders.
However, ex-Red Jamie Carragher says while he understands why fans might be growing increasingly unhappy, discipline in the market was key to the club’s recent successes—and so if the player they want isn’t there, they’re simply staying true to that approach.
“I can understand the frustrations of Liverpool fans when they see other clubs spending left, right and centre,” said the current Sky pundit. “Because Liverpool are not bringing someone in, it almost looks like they have given up on that fight for the top four.
“But what I would never want my club to be, which is what they were when I was a player, is a little bit scattergun, panicking at different times, whereas Liverpool over the last four or five years have been a model that other clubs around Europe have wanted to follow.”
Certainly in the past that approach—patience and discipline, waiting for top targets and not paying more than their models value them at—has worked. And it may work again now. But there are only so many windows that can pass while that defence remains valid.
Liverpool missed on top target Aurélien Tchouaméni last summer. Now the fans are told they’re waiting for top target Jude Bellingham next summer. Yet if they miss on Belliingham, what then? Will they wait until 2024 to sign—or try to sign—the next perfect player?
The Reds may not have the financial wherewithal to waste money, but if they wait much longer they won’t have much of a midfield with which to fight for silverware and top four finishes. Some would argue, with some justification, that point has already arrived.
“What they do not do is panic in the transfer market,” added the former Liverpool centre half. “I think Jurgen Klopp has shown that before when he has had really successful buys that he has brought in, like Virgil van Dijk, who he waited for before bringing in.
“If Liverpool are not bringing players in now because they have not got the money, or the player is not there that Klopp wants, that is a completely different argument that we do not know, we are not privy to that information.”