It appears Liverpool will not sign a centre-back in January, a bold move – but they’ve been here before.
The Reds’ approach in the market has always been a patient one. Always waiting until a deal is right for them, rather than rushing into the market. In the summer of 2017, clamours to sign a centre back of any sort fell on deaf ears.
Howls of derision echoed around the country, until the first of January when Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk in a £75 million transfer.
The Reds are in a similar position now. With injuries to their talismanic Dutchman, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, Liverpool are without a single senior centre-back. This situation, coupled with Liverpool’s recent form has understandably led to calls for Liverpool to sign a defender as soon as possible.
However, according to The Athletic, that isn’t going to happen. They report the Reds are more likely to keep their powder dry until the summer.
The probability is the Reds will bring in an excellent centre-back this summer. Given the record of Jurgen Klopp and Michael Edwards its hard to argue with.
When asked about a transfer, the source quoted in the Athletic’s article said a move would be ‘financially irresponsible’. It’s easy to understand that sentiment of course.
Clubs know that Liverpool are desperate. They’re in poor form, in a close title race and have a Champions League tie with RB Leipzig on the horizon. They will use that bargaining position to drive up the price of any potential target. However, there are other factors to consider.
The Champions League is a highly lucrative competition. From their current position, the Reds could earn up to €41.5 million just in prize money by winning the competition. This would easily cover the majority of any fee the Reds are set to pay, without even taking into account TV revenue they’d also be owed.
Of course, even if the Reds signed a £100 million centre-back, a Champions League win is not guaranteed.
However, the prize money for merely getting through their tie with Leipzig still stands at €10.5 million. With a full complement of defenders, the Reds would be heavy favourites to ease past them. However, given the issues they now face, it would be foolish to discount Leipzig running riot against an injury-hit Liverpool.
To miss out on this revenue, as well as the potential financial impact of dropping down the table, given the Reds recent form would be a major financial blow.
Of course, this is dealing in hypotheticals. It’s also entirely possible, probable even that Liverpool will recover their form without a new defender.
However, this is a pivotal moment in the Anfield club’ season, whether the Reds sign a defender or not. Only time will tell if this risk is too bold from Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.