Costa and Benteke swap fanciful but Lucas Moura intriguing option for Reds
With the transfer window upon us, here's a look at what to expect from Liverpool ...
Will Jurgen Klopp be busy in the transfer market?
Probably not, but there will hopefully be some activity. The change in manager certainly makes it more likely that Liverpool will be on the lookout for new recruits but it might not be in January. Brendan Rodgers signed eight new players over the summer and had he remained in charge, it's unlikely the club would have sanctioned further spending, but the arrival of Klopp changes things, as a new manager always needs to bring in a player or two that suits his style. Klopp is still in the process of evaluating the players he inherited and has continually talked down the need to strengthen in January, so supporters should not expect any big signings.
What do Liverpool need?
Many fans would say a goalkeeper but Klopp has categorically ruled out signing one in January and has thrown his backing behind Simon Mignolet and No. 2 Adam Bogdan. Daniel Sturridge's injury problems and the long-term absence of Danny Ings suggest that Liverpool require a reliable goalscorer, as so far Christian Benteke hasn't convinced while Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino are not prolific scorers.
Again, though, Klopp has dismissed the idea of being active in the market on the basis that he'll have too many forwards when they are all fit and available. The squad certainly lacks width so a natural winger might be on the German's list, while a top class central midfield player is also a major requirement as the Reds have lots of good midfielders but no genuinely top class ones, with the possible exception of Jordan Henderson.
In terms of depth, full-back is definitely a position of need because there is no experienced cover behind first choice pair Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno. If Jon Flanagan returns to full fitness then that helps, but full-back is perhaps the most likely area that will be strengthened. Martin Skrtel's injury means centre-back cover could be sought.
The Reds have been linked with at least eight current or former Dortmund players and it wouldn't be a surprise to see one or two of them link up with Klopp again. Contrary to some fanciful suggestions, it won't be Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski or BVB's Marco Reus. Neven Subotic and Kevin Grosskreutz may be more likely, although neither would set pulses racing.
The continuing links to the exciting Leroy Sane from Schalke 04 are encouraging and Red Star Belgrade midfield prodigy Marko Grujic is rumoured to have already agreed a deal to join the Reds in January, but may remain at Red Star on loan until the end of the season.
Lucas Moura is reportedly unsettled at Paris St-Germain and would be an exciting addition to the Reds' forward line, where he would link up with fellow Brazilians Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. He wouldn't come cheap and there'd be interest from other clubs, but if there's a chance he might be available, Liverpool should be pushing their way to the front of the queue.
As a leftfield suggestion, what about offering Benteke to Chelsea in a straight swap for Diego Costa? Chelsea had an interest in Benteke last summer while Liverpool wanted Costa in 2013. Deals like this never happen but this one would suit all parties as Benteke is a better fit for Chelsea than he is Liverpool, while Costa could thrive under Klopp and would provide the attack with the mean streak and edge they lack.
It's unlikely that anybody will be leaving as Klopp continues to assess the squad he inherited, but if there's anybody who might move on then it could be Joe Allen, who has been mostly a back-up so far under Klopp and appears to have his work cut out to win over the German.
THE BEST OF ESPN FC
- Bell: Liverpool fans make themselves heard
- Cox: Leicester improving | Why Poch should stay
- Okwonga: Man United's market | City's title hopes
- Laurens: PSG's pre-UCL issues | Hertha's curse
- Highlights (U.S. only): Stuttgart 1-3 BVB
- FC TV: Champions League W2W4 | LVG wrong
- News | Transfer | Toe Poke | Fantasy | FC TV | Podcast | MLS
You have to assume that any reasonable offer that comes in would be seriously considered, especially if the funds would enable to Klopp to sign a player he feels would improve his starting XI. Allen is technically sound and works hard, but he's neither a defensive midfielder or an attacking one, he doesn't score or assist and his loss would be barely even noticed.