Liverpool have shown they’re not willing to make the same mistake as Manchester City by striking late in the January transfer window to sign both Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak. The Reds entered the January transfer window knowing that signing a centre-back was a priority but it was initially reported that the club were reluctant to bring anybody in.
That mindset was met with a bemused reaction from Liverpool fans though, with Jurgen Klopp having to constantly tinker with his centre-back options.
Joel Matip and Fabinho have had their own injury issues this season, the former now out for the rest of the season, joining Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez who also aren’t expected to return until the summer.
Not replacing Dejan Lovren before the start of the season was already a risky approach, but Liverpool were originally confident that having Fabinho as a fourth option would be enough.
Nobody at the club could have foreseen the injury crisis that would endure, but that in turn created a complex transfer situation for Michael Edwards and FSG president Mike Gordon.
A complete restructure of Liverpool’s transfer business over the past few years has been a huge part in their success on the pitch.
Something that Liverpool’s transfer officials have refused to do though is make knee-jerk decisions, particularly in the January transfer window.
In fact, Liverpool had been reluctant to make any major changes prior to last summer with just £7.25million spent in the 18 months prior.
There wasn’t much need then though with Liverpool coming off the back of an impressive Champions League triumph and going on to win their first top flight title in 30 years.
That title-winning season saw Liverpool blow rivals Manchester City away in unbelievable fashion, but it also acted as a warning to Klopp.
City failed to replace Vincent Kompany throughout the season and they were made to pay when Aymeric Laporte went down with a knee injury early in the campaign.
While Lovren and Kompany are certainly incomparable at best, Liverpool will have known that avoiding a similar situation to City was paramount.
That meant steering away from their usual transfer identity to secure two centre-back signings on deadline day in the form of Davies and Kabak.
Neither carry that much financial risk with Davies joining for just under £1million while Kabak comes in on a short-term loan with no obligation to buy.
It gives Liverpool flexibility heading into the summer transfer window, while also giving Klopp ample options in defence as they look to defend their title.
The first real test comes this weekend when they take on City where both Davies and Kabak could be eligible to make their debuts.
And Klopp will be hoping the two new signings can get up to speed quickly as they’re likely going to play regularly until the end of the season.