With just one win in their last six matches, Liverpool’s season is in danger of falling apart.
That solitary win, a laboured 1-0 FA Cup victory against League Two side Plymouth, has been surrounded by draws and defeats, with the run reaching a nadir on Saturday as Jürgen Klopp’s side went down to a shock 3-2 defeat to relegation-threatened Swansea at Anfield.
With the side looking fatigued in that last game, particularly in the absence of Sadio Mané, many have once again felt the need to question why the club did not look to bring in January reinforcements to maintain their Premier League title challenge.
However, Klopp has said that while Liverpool had been pursuing active lines of inquiry, clubs’ refusal to sell in the winter transfer window made those deals impossible.
“I understand it is absolutely normal, people ask whether we should have brought players in.
“The situation is yes, on the one side pretty simple, but on the other hand it is pretty difficult.
“It is not that we don’t want to bring players in. We do. But the thing is, the players we want because we think they help us, the clubs don’t sell. It is not about money in this situation, it is the winter transfer market.”
(Quotes via the Liverpool Echo)
Liverpool had been keen to sign Christian Pulisic from Dortmund this month, but his breakout season for the Bundesliga side rendered him unavailable, while there had also been tentative links with Quincy Promes of Spartak Moscow and Julian Draxler, who ended up moving to Paris Saint-Germain.
Klopp suggested that even potentially making more money from a January deal as opposed to the summer was not enough to tempt clubs into negotiating a transfer:
“Clubs are saying ‘no we have half a year to go, we can not find another player like this, we prefer to take money in the summer, than a few pound more in the winter than whatever’. So it is pretty easy.
“You see the situation, it’s tight, it’s close, we know that, but if the right decision is not possible in signing the right player, then you cannot make the wrong transfer.
“It is not as if there are 20 players out there who could make this team stronger, who are running around and are available. That is the situation.”
With just over a week of the transfer window to go, Liverpool are highly unlikely to be recruiting anyone at this late stage, so the best that both they and Klopp can do is hope that their season hasn’t completely hit a brick wall by the time Mané returns from the African Cup of Nations next month.