Liverpool supporters have been pretty downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side concede a late leveller to end up drawing 1-1 with bitter rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into that clash full of confidence after three successive victories in all competitions, including a 7-0 hammering of Spartak Moscow just a few days previous. And they looked on course for another three points as Mohamed Salah brilliantly gave them a half time lead, only for the hosts to be pegged back after the break as Dejan Lovren clumsily felled Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the penalty area, allowing Wayne Rooney to slot home the resulting spot-kick to preserve a point for Sam Allardyce’s side.
Subsequently, there have been several disappointed Liverpudlians in the Tavern this week, although many remain optimistic about their team’s chances this season given that they have now stretched their unbeaten run to ten matches in all competitions.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Reds fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that their club are set to reignite their interest in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar in January by reportedly readying a €90 million bid for the forward.
The 22-year-old scored 14 goals and laid on 17 assists for Leonardo Jardim’s men last term in their run to the Ligue 1 title and the last four of the Champions League, but has somewhat struggled for form this term.
And although Philippe Coutinho could well leave for Barcelona in January, Liverpool’s dire need to strengthen other areas of the pitch, as well as their less-than-important need to bolster their attacking ranks even if Coutinho leaves, suggests that the reported €90 million fee could be spent on more pressing matters.
It’s no secret that Liverpool’s issue is not going forward, but going back, with the Reds having conceded more goals than any other side in the top four, while they and Arsenal have shipped the most in the Premier League’s top seven.
Thus, it’s that area of the pitch which needs €90 million spent on it, whether that’s a new left-back to replace the improving but ultimately unconvincing Alberto Moreno, a new centre-back to replace the unreliable Lovren, or a new goalkeeper to usurp Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.
€90 million is a significant sum of money and could well help Klopp fund the arrivals of Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand from Southampton, and Clement Lenglet from Sevilla, among many other reported defensive targets to help the Reds in their quest for major honours.
And while Coutinho’s future at Anfield is far from certain, even if he were to leave, the Reds are still well-stocked in the attacking areas, with the likes of Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane to call upon, while Daniel Sturridge remains an option from the bench, and Divock Origi is hitting form at Wolfsburg and could well come back into the fold upon his return.
Add in Lemar’s evident struggles for form this season, having managed just one goal for Monaco so far, and Klopp and the Liverpool hierarchy should seriously rethink launching a mega money move for the 22-year-old, even if Coutinho is to leave in January.
The attacking areas would remain strong with or without the Brazil international, while the defensive department needs some work – they’d be better spending the €90 million on those more pressing matters than trying to land the £27 million-rated Lemar (as per Transfermarkt).
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!