Liverpool fans were left watching on during the transfer deadline day activities, with the Reds playing no part in the late rush for additional signatures and squad additions.
Despite floundering in mid-table after a dismal run of results over the past few months - before and since the World Cup - Jurgen Klopp ’s team only added a single additional forward to their ranks.
That came despite cries for - and plenty of links with - central midfielders, an area where Liverpool have struggled this term for both performance level and cohesion, amid injuries and the loss of form from previously key pillars such as Fabinho.
Even on the outgoing side of business, last year’s Premier League and Champions League runners-up were extremely quiet, with only a single youth player departing permanently and two teens heading out on loan.
Whether the inactivity will prove enough to help Klopp find a revival of fortunes and steer the Reds back towards the Champions League spots remains to be seen, but given the sheer volume of players rumoured to be mid-season targets in the centre of the park at least, it’s certainly a surprise that no further faces were added while their rivals at the top end, almost without exception, added a minimum of two senior faces to their ranks.
Cody Gakpo - from PSV, £35m rising to £44m with add-ons.
The Dutch forward was brought in swiftly on the back of Luis Diaz’s re-injury and his own excellent World Cup, but it hasn’t been plain sailing so far.
No goals or assists are not a surprise given the level of underperformance of the team around him, and he has been playing mostly from centre-forward rather than the left-sided role which was expected - and where he provided so many goals for PSV from in the first half of the season.
Jake Cain - to Swindon Town.
The 21-year-old central midfielder played once for the Reds, in 2019/20, before a loan spell in League Two in 21/22. He was the sole permanent departure in January, joining the Robins in the fourth tier.
Enzo Fernandez topped the list of central midfielders Liverpool could have gone for, with his Argentina heroics quickly giving rise to a suggestion the Reds would pay four or five times as much in January as Benfica paid in the summer. In the end, that would have bought just about his right leg, as Chelsea landed the starlet for a British record £106m on deadline day.
Moises Caicedo at Brighton was another who was heavily linked, but in the end he went nowhere. The Reds’ interest was rumoured early in December and that continued into the new year, before Chelsea and Arsenal were ultimately expected to be front-runners. They both bid, both were rejected and the Seagulls stood firm.
Sofyan Amrabat was another who shone at the World Cup and was linked as a target for January, but rumours over the £30m-rated ball-winning Fiorentina man seemed to quickly fizzle out. Barcelona were linked with a late move, but he remains in Serie A.
Nat Phillips was the one Liverpool senior who was supposed to be heading for the overdue exit door but yet again his future was halted at the last minute, this time due to Ibrahima Konate picking up a hamstring injury, leaving Klopp with only two fit senior centre-backs if Phillips departed. Galatasaray were the chasers for his signature.
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