Liverpool supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern recently after seeing their side complete a decent week with a 4-1 thrashing of West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday, in turn moving them up to fifth place in the Premier League table.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the struggling Hammers off the back of comfortably dispatching both Huddersfield Town and Maribor, and first half goals from Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip set them on their way to another easy three points. And although Manuel Lanzini’s 55th minute finish got the hosts back into it, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made it 3-1 less than a minute later, before in-form Salah bagged his second and Liverpool’s fourth with quarter of an hour left to complete the rout.
Thus, there have been many happy Reds supporters in the Tavern this week, and many are already looking forward to seeing if their team can continue their fine run of form when they return to league action against Southampton a week on Saturday.
In the meantime though, there is plenty for those Liverpool fans lining up at the bar to discuss, not least recent reports linking striker Danny Ings with a January move to Newcastle United.
The 25-year-old has been blighted by injuries since moving to Anfield back in 2015, managing just 12 first team appearances for the club, yet seven Premier League 2 games and a substitute’s cameo in their Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City back in September suggests that he is working his way back to full fitness.
However, the one-time England international is unlikely going to get the regular football at Liverpool that he needs to return to his previous best level, and as such Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle are reportedly seeking to secure a loan move for the forward in January.
And Ings’ likely departure from Anfield in the New Year could spell bad news for one Liverpool star, namely fellow striker Daniel Sturridge.
The 28-year-old continues to struggle for regular first team football under Klopp with just four Premier League starts so far this season, and he will be well aware that he requires gametime between now and the end of the campaign to get into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup.
And given that the forward was axed from the latest squad for upcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil next week, a squad which does not include Harry Kane but does include Swansea City’s Tammy Abraham, that is surely the clearest indication yet that things need to change for Sturridge over the coming months.
However, the issue the striker has got is that, if Ings were allowed to leave on loan, Klopp is then unlikely going to let Sturridge leave as well, as that would leave him very short in the forward ranks for the second half of the season, a time which is likely going to see them remain in Europe and push for a top four spot in the Premier League.
Unlike Ings, Sturridge has been in all but one of Liverpool’s 11 matchday squads in the league this season, and is often the main replacement for Roberto Firmino or any of the front three should Klopp look to change it up – only twice has the 28-year-old been an unused substitute.
Thus, he’s clearly an important part of the squad at Anfield, but with a World Cup around the corner, Sturridge needs to be playing regularly, and that doesn’t look like happening at Liverpool anytime soon, especially not if the likes of Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho continue their impressive starts to the campaign.
But because he is on the peripheries of the first team, alongside the likely departure of Ings in the New Year, it doesn’t look like Sturridge will indeed be allowed the move that could hold the key to his England chances in the summer.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!