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Jurgen Klopp’s dream formation at Liverpool when transfers were rejected at the last second in January



Jurgen Klopp makes honest statement on Liverpool sacking amid disastrous season

FSG must justify Liverpool's $24m contract decision as Jurgen Klopp got two things wrong

Liverpool have kept their powder dry this month after securing an early deal for Cody Gakpo, but Jurgen Klopp is planning a major midfield overhaul this summer.

It’s been a difficult season for Liverpool, who have been plagued with numerous problems this term – and Jurgen Klopp and the Anfield hierarchy failed to find solutions during the January transfer window.

The Reds were always expected to keep their powder dry after spending a lot of money on Darwin Nunez over the summer. It remained to be seen, however, whether that attitude would subside after Liverpool’s struggles in the Premier League.

Liverpool hit the window early on in a bid to lure Manchester United into a deal for Dutch striker Cody Gakpo. However, the 23-year-old is the only new signing to arrive on Merseyside this month. But while the lack of activity this month has disappointed some fans, Liverpool are expected to do some serious business in the summer semester ahead of the 2023-24 season.

The Reds’ midfield has been a concern all season and the club are expected to reform their engine room in the summer.

Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham has been widely reported as the club’s main target, but Liverpool are likely to face significant competition in the race for the English star.

Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo has also been linked with a move to Anfield in recent months and was the subject of two failed offers from Arsenal in January.

Jurgen Klopp makes honest statement on Liverpool sacking amid disastrous season

The Seagulls have been reluctant to cash in on another valuable signing after losing Marc Cucurella and Leandro Trossard to Chelsea and Arsenal respectively, but that attitude could soften in the summer, especially as Caicedo has made clear he was eager to join the Gunners . A move by the Ecuadorian international would be fine and could become a reality if the Reds are beaten to a deal for Bellingham. Whilst Liverpool are unlikely to have the money for either, Wolves’ Matheus Nunes is also a target and would be a more financially viable option for an accompanying midfield spot.

Ibrahima Konate will be sidelined for the next few weeks but has established himself as Virgil van Dijk’s longtime partner in defence.

Jurgen Klopp's dream formation at Liverpool when transfers were rejected at the last second in January

Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker are unlikely to be affected by future transfers in the summer as Liverpool are fully focused on rebuilding their rickety engine room.

Liverpool’s potential dream squad for 2023-24: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Nunes, Bellingham, Salah, Gakpo, Nunez.


January transfer window: Winners and losers as Chelsea flex their financial muscles again and Liverpool fail to fill their midfield void

January transfer window: Winners and losers as Chelsea flex their financial muscles again and Liverpool fail to fill their midfield void

Sky Sports ranks some of the winners, losers and interludes of the January transfer window after a hectic deadline; Chelsea continued their extraordinary spending with a £105m deal for Enzo Fernandez; Everton could not sign a single player


Chelsea flex their financial muscles…again

Having spent more than £300million, more than five times more than any other Premier League club, Chelsea have better hopes they will be winners. Todd Boehly’s assault on the transfer market requires careful consideration, but what is certain is that his team is considerably stronger for it.

A record-breaking £106.8m British deal for Enzo Fernandez after a long transfer saga capped another bumper window for the Blues, with the Argentine one of eight new faces.

Expenditure for the season tops £600m leaving head coach Graham Potter with on-field selection headaches, but fans have a lot to look forward to as Chelsea prepare for the second half of the season .

Mykhailo Mudryk, an £88.5million signing from Shakhtar Donetsk, was electric on his debut against Liverpool, while Joao Felix’s performance against Fulham – before the dismissal that hampered him – showed he also had a transformative impact. Noni Madueke will be hoping to showcase his huge talent, his £29m signing from PSV Eindhoven will equip Chelsea with a brand new front three, while Benoit Badiashile has already moved into defense and big things are expected for Andrey Santos, Malo Gusto and David Datro Fofana.

The financial numbers are staggering. Even long contracts. But the prevailing sentiment among fans is one of excitement and that’s understandable.

January transfer window: Winners and losers as Chelsea flex their financial muscles again and Liverpool fail to fill their midfield void

Brighton are determined to fend off the suitors

For Brighton, the transfer window was not so much about the players they signed but rather the ones they kept. Moises Caicedo was in high demand, but the south coast club held on.

Chelsea were first to test their resolve, when a £55m bid for the midfielder was rejected, but it was Arsenal who pushed harder, going as far as £70m to get the same answer.

Brighton were on the verge of making a huge profit on a player they paid £5m for just two years ago, but owner Tony Bloom was adamant the 21-year-old would not be sold and was not bluffing.

Some will argue that he should have taken the plunge. Caicedo wanted to leave and Brighton may never get a better offer. But they are chasing an all-time Premier League record under Roberto De Zerbi and few players have been more influential than Caicedo.

A healthier balance is little comfort to supporters when the squad is weakened mid-season and Brighton have avoided that scenario. Relations will have to be mended, but they know that Caicedo has little to gain from sulking. A reconciliation is likely.January transfer window: Winners and losers as Chelsea flex their financial muscles again and Liverpool fail to fill their midfield void

Of course, another call has been made for Leandro Trossard, the Belgian being sold to Arsenal for £27m following agitation over a move, but even that decision looks well calculated as they have won four of their five matches without him and her replacement, Kaoru Mitoma, Blossoms. The club stuck to their philosophy upon arrival, signing four teenagers, including Swedish midfielder Yasin Ayari from AIK, to keep the focus on youth development. After all, why change the recipe for success? Brighton are moving forward.

Arsenal miss key targets but go from strength to strength

Arsenal’s January deal has caused consternation in some corners, with #EduOut trending on Twitter after the club dropped their Moises Caicedo look at Jorginho to bolster their midfield.

This came after the unsuccessful and equally high-profile pursuit of Mykhailo Mudryk joining Chelsea, with Arsenal instead opting for another cheaper alternative in Leandro Trossard. But critics of their sporting director would do well to remember his recent record. After all, he was able to sign Gabriel Jesus while missing Dusan Vlahovic. The absence of Lisandro Martinez has allowed him to add Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Those players have contributed enormously to Arsenal’s success this season and the hope now is that Trossard and Jorginho will do the same. Trossard certainly provided a lot of encouragement in his early performances. And by the way, given the strength of Mikel Arteta’s first choice, Arsenal’s main focus this transfer window has been to add depth. They’ve had to adjust, but their business shows that the lessons of last year, when they let themselves down in January, have been learned.

Jorginho’s signing has drawn comparisons to Willian, whose move from Stamford Bridge to the Emirates Stadium proved disastrous, but the Italian is undoubtedly an upgrade from Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga and also brings leadership.

January transfer window: Winners and losers as Chelsea flex their financial muscles again and Liverpool fail to fill their midfield void

Like Trossard, he too arrives in fine form having featured regularly for Chelsea this season. In fact he started the last two Premier League games, his return to the team coinciding with a resurgence in form as they beat Crystal Palace to draw with Liverpool. Then, together with Jorginho and Trossard, he brought in highly rated Polish central defender Jakub Kiwior from Spezia. Defense, midfield and attack all strengthened. The signings may not be glamorous, but they were what Arsenal needed.

Bournemouth show their ambition

The January period was likely to always be a busy one for Bournemouth after American businessman Bill Foley completed his £100m takeover of the club in December, and it showed.

They botched an ambitious bid to sign Italian international Nicolo Zaniolo but managed to trap his Roma team-mate Matias Vina, a 28-capped Uruguayan international who should provide a significant injection of quality at left-back to attract. Vina was one of five new arrivals. There’s also the £20million Dango Outtara, an exciting young winger who shone with Lorient in France in the first half of the season. Bristol City’s Antoine Semenyo is another attacking player with a lot of potential.

Darren Randolph brings depth to the goalkeeper position and the Cherries have saved their biggest signing yet, their £24million deal for centre-back Illia Zabarnyi, a Ukraine international who offers hope of defensive improvements much needed in the fight against relegation.


Man Utd dives into the credit market

Erik ten Hag has made no secret of the fact that he was working on a budget in January after Manchester United’s spending-heavy summer. This time they had to get creative.

The signing of Wout Weghorst hasn’t exactly made hearts beat faster. His bad spell at Burnley means he has a lot to do to win over the doubters. But his goalscoring record in Germany and the Netherlands before that was impressive and his early performances at United were encouraging.

The Dutchman provided the point of focus he had been missing following the farewell of Cristiano Ronaldo, whose agreed exit suited everyone, but he will have to build on his good start in the coming months and the same test awaits Marcel Sabitzer .

The Austria international shone during a seven-year spell at RB Leipzig but arrives at Old Trafford having struggled to make a positive impact at Bayern Munich. He made just 15 Bundesliga appearances in 18 months and was eventually sacked.

It appears to be a reasonable short-term solution following the news of Christian Eriksen’s impending injury absence, especially given United’s budget constraints, but how he adapts to the Premier League remains to be seen.

Lopetegui backed up but goals weren’t forthcoming

Julen Lopetegui received good support in his first transfer window as Wolves manager, with the club spending a total of £31.6m in January, with six additions helping to reshape the squad. Joao Gomes, the most expensive of them at £15m, is considered one of Brazil’s most exciting young midfielders. Mario Lemina and Pablo Sarabia bring the trick. Craig Dawson offers Premier League pedigree and experience for a paltry £3.3million.

But the same questions remain about firepower. Wolves, who were among the Premier League’s worst scorers last season, have scored just 12 goals in 20 games this time around. Who scores the goals?

With Diego Costa and Raul Jimenez struggling for form and fitness and Sasa Kalajdzic still unavailable this summer through injury, Lopetegui appears to be pinning his hopes on Matheus Cunha, whose loan deal from Atletico Madrid includes a £44m summer buy commitment.

The transfer fee reflects his pedigree – he’s been capped eight times by Brazil – but he’s not the absolute No.9 and his goalscoring record is a modest 39 goals in 184 senior appearances. Is he the answer? Wolves supporters need to be convinced. LOSERS

Everton widen a gap

If Sean Dyche wasn’t already aware of the scale of the task he undertook at Everton, then he certainly is now. The end of the transfer window only brought disappointment.

The club took in £45million from the sale of Anthony Gordon to Newcastle, but their attempts to reinvest that money and improve a squad that was in dire need of reinforcement proved fruitless.

The list of rejections and near-misses seemed to grow by the hour on deadline day, with reports of unsuccessful transfers from Hakim Ziyech, Conor Gallagher, Iliman Ndiaye, Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi, Jean -Philippe Mateta and Udinese striker Beto, among others.

Despite their desperate position, level on points with Southampton bottom of the table, they eventually finish the window as the only Premier League side not to sign a single player, leaving Dyche with the almighty task of keeping them in the game. division. “If you don’t bring in any players, I see no point in replacing Frank [Lampard],” said Sky Sports’ Paul Merson. “He wasn’t the coach, it was the players. For me, they need better players if they are to survive. I think this team will fight to survive.”

Cancelo’s exit weakens Manchester City

Pep Guardiola may feel it was necessary in the interests of team harmony, but Joao Cancelo’s departure from Manchester City on loan to Bayern Munich is a headache in any case.

The Portuguese international played more Premier League minutes than any other outfield player in Manchester City’s title-winning campaigns of 2020/21 and 2021/22 and the same has been true this season leading up to the World Cup break. His form had undoubtedly slipped but the fact that he was still considered indispensable by Guardiola in November highlights how quickly the situation deteriorated.

It’s even stranger considering City have few options at left-back. Nathan Ake has been a good substitute over the past few weeks, but he doesn’t offer as much creative threat as Cancelo.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is gone, the Ukrainian is now brilliant for Arsenal and Sergio Gomez has been credited with just 106 Premier League minutes since arriving from Anderlecht in the summer.

Guardiola hopes Cancelo’s departure will serve as a warning to other underperforming players currently on the fringes of his team. But the undeniable truth is that they are weaker without him.

Liverpool gap in midfield remains

Liverpool fans will not remember January fondly.

On the pitch, a dismal six-game winning streak saw them lose further ground in the hunt for a top-four Premier League finish and knocked out of the FA Cup. That being said, another transfer window without the midfield reinforcements they desperately need.

They have, of course, secured the £45m signing of Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven, the Dutch striker who showed considerable talent in Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round defeat to Brighton. But this game was only the latest to shine a light on their long-standing issues at the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s side. Again, there was a lack of control in midfield. Again, their veteran players couldn’t deliver.