Liverpool’s injury list continues to grow after Naby Keita’s latest setback yet it remains to be seen if they will strengthen their squad further before the transfer window closes.
It’s very rare for Jurgen Klopp to dip his toes into the summer transfer market after the start of the Premier League season. In his seven years with Liverpool, the Reds have only signed four players after their opening match, while only six players have been snapped up after calendars have turned to August.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the first example on transfer deadline day back in 2017. Having rejected a new contract to stay at Arsenal, as well as a move to Chelsea, he joined the Reds in a £35m deal with the Gunners opting to cash in rather than lose him on a free transfer at the end of his contract the following summer.
Adrian signed for Liverpool on a free transfer the day after the 2019 Community Shield as Simon Mignolet left for Club Brugge, with an injury to Alisson in the Reds’ Premier League opener at home to Norwich City days later not only handing him a premature debut, but also resulting in the free signing of Andy Lonergan.
Meanwhile, a delayed start to the 2020/21 season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic saw Kostas Tsimikas sign before the start of pre-season in August 2020, with Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota then brought in on successive days the following month on the eve of Liverpool’s second league game of the campaign against Chelsea.
As a result, Oxlade-Chamberlain is really the only example of the Reds strengthening their squad late on in a summer in normal circumstances. Therefore, historically it would appear rather unlikely for Klopp to add to his squad before the transfer window closes next Thursday.
Yet injuries could potentially force Liverpool’s hand, with Naby Keita ’s lay-off increasing the Reds’ total of absentees to 11 with Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Ibrahima Konate, Curtis Jones, Calvin Ramsay, Joel Matip, Caoimhin Kelleher and Kaide Gordon already all sidelined, while Darwin Nunez is suspended.
While content with his numbers when everyone is fit, Klopp has conceded in an ideal world he would like to strengthen his squad further in the face of such setbacks. However, as has predominantly been the case at Anfield, Liverpool would only move for the right player.
Possessing no desire to panic-buy, the Reds are not in the market for a short-term fix, with any potential signing needing to be a player good enough to go into their starting XI now, but also be capable of staying there when the German’s walking wounded return.
When [every midfielder is] fit, 100% [we have enough numbers], but even then we always look to strengthen, but we have to and we always did [make sure] that it must be the right player and if the right player is not available at this moment then we tend to deal with what we have rather than sign a player who is not 100% right,” Klopp insisted last week.
This situation did not change. Now we have more injuries than we would have imagined and it would be cool to have another midfielder in, of course. But now we have a situation that when the boys come back and stuff like these it changes constantly.
“Then there is also another fact that I am not in charge of what we can spend. That’s the situation. We get told things and then we deal with it. That is always the same, it didn’t change. You could say that is why we are here with a good understanding and a bad understanding.
“I always have to accept that and always did. That is it. It makes no sense to worry about something you cannot change. That is a waste of energy, a waste of positivity.”
With Liverpool well-known admirers of Jude Bellingham, the England international would be the dream signing for the Reds. However, with Borussia Dortmund having no desire to sell until next year, if Klopp considers the 19-year-old the ‘right player’ and is to be successful in landing him, he will have to wait.