Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has today admitted that he will not be rushing out to sign players in the January window, despite injuries to key players Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, who are set to be side-lined until the New Year.
On the subject of January signings Rodgers told Sky Sports News: “January can be a hard window,”
“While we were very successful in it last year – with Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge – we just won’t be buying for the sake of it. We will wait and see what is out there.”
The Liverpool squad does not contain major strength in-depth, so injuries to Gerrard, Sturridge and full-back Jose Enrique are likely to hit the team hard. Gerrard and Sturridge are likely to be missing for six weeks, while Enrique is currently recovering from knee surgery and is not expected to be back in full training until February.
Liverpool have a difficult run of fixtures to come in the next few weeks. In the next four games the Reds have to visit Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea. Those are difficult enough games without injuries to key players as well.
The next few games will be a good gauge to measure how far the Reds have come this season. Rodgers side currently sit in second place with a trip to Tottenham on Sunday. The three teams they come up against in the next four weeks are all contenders for the top four.
Chelsea and Manchester City are also considered contenders for the Premier League title this season. If Liverpool can come through those games with a decent haul of points then they are still likely to be in a good position to finish in the top four.
If they get maximum points, which seems unlikely, then they could even still be in the mix for the title. League leaders Arsenal have difficult games against Manchester City and Chelsea coming up. Should the Gunners come up short the Reds could overtake them in the table.
The Premier League this season is very unpredictable and anything could happen. The Reds could be top of the table entering the New Year. However, such is the tight nature of the league table they could also be outside the top four.
As Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports, the Reds boss did some excellent business last January bringing in Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho. Both players have had a big impact at Anfield since their arrival.
Sturridge was deadly in front of goal, before injury hampered his good start to the campaign. Coutinho impressed with his performances last season and was expected to make a really big impact this season.
Unfortunately injury also curtailed his progress and he is only now getting back to full fitness. It would be difficult to sign two players who have a similar impact for the same value for money this January.
As the Reds boss has stated January is a difficult time for teams to bring in new players. Clubs do not want to lose their best players and the players that are made available can be of a poor standard. It is a difficult balancing act for managers like Rodgers.
He knows he has a decent squad, but he also knows that there are probably players out there that could improve his team. Whether he is given the finances to go out and buy the players is a totally different matter.
There is major competition for those top four positions and Liverpool are obviously one of the contenders. Unfortunately for the Reds there are about six or seven other teams looking at making the Champions League spots.
The Reds finished seventh last season, so a top four finish would be progress for Brendan Rodgers and his side. When everybody is fit the current Liverpool team is capable of finishing in the Champions League spots and they are currently odds of 10/11 to make the top four.
However, with the league being so tight and competition for those top four places so fierce, I am sure a couple of January additions would only help the Reds achieve their target of a place in the top four come the end of the season.
Does Liverpool need to strengthen their squad in January?