Merry Christmas to everyone!
It may not be as comfortable as last year, but Liverpool reached the top of the Premier League table on December 25 and remain favorites to retain their title.
This continued success on the ground, coupled with the financial implications of the pandemic, means there isn’t much to do in January, does it?
Well, there are still a few ends to tie in with the approach of 2021 …
Gini Wijanldum’s future has been the only common thread in an otherwise meticulously woven team-planning strategy at Anfield in recent times.
While some reports claim there is still hope that the 30-year-old will sign new terms to take his tenure at Liverpool beyond the summer, time is running out.
The Dutchman continues to be one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted artists and dressing room leaders. In the midst of an unprecedented injury crisis, its importance has never been more evident.
Just give him what he wants.
Caoimhin Kelleher, 22, edged out Adrian to become Liverpool’s number two this season, impressive in Alisson’s absence with assured performances.
The young Irishman – who started out as a striker at junior level – has a contract at Anfield which expires in 2022 and the sooner he is tied to a new long-term deal the better.
It’s the least he can do now that we’ve all learned how to pronounce his name.
Fabinho and Joel Matip have proven to be as good as any Premier League duo at the back in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Meanwhile, Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips, and Billy Koumetio impressed more than they were allowed to when called up.
Again, if Liverpool can strike a deal for a quality specialist option to bolster their options, then everything will be better for 2021.
22-year-old Dayot Upamecano (top right) has been mentioned and a relatively low release clause will come into effect this summer.
Names like Ozan Kabak, Pau Torres and Ben White have all been linked as well, but it’s notoriously difficult to close big deals in January.
While Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips had some odds in this most unusual season, 2019 season signing Sepp van den Berg did not.
Although still young, the 19-year-old doesn’t appear to be particularly close to the first team (even with all the injuries in defense) and could qualify for a loan either at home or abroad, as has Williams and Phillips do.
Harvey Elliott is absolutely tearing him apart in the Championship.
The 17-year-old has four goals (including the above) and four assists in 14 appearances for playoff prospects Blackburn Rovers.
The youngest Premier League player appears destined for the top and it is said his loan deal could even be cut off to make up for Diogo Jota and the other injuries.
It is an exciting prospect …
Divock Origi will remain eternal; his name is etched in Liverpool folklore for generations to come…
However, his time as a first team player is coming to an end.
The Belgian doesn’t seem to really fit into Klopp’s system, as he appears to be short of aces (in the form of crucial goals) up his sleeves.
Sentimentalism aside, Origi is the obvious option to sell with the aim of pumping up the coffers in January. Wolves have been mentioned.
Sorry everyone. Sorry 2019 me.
Much like Thiago Alcantara before him, David Alaba’s contract with Bayern Munich is coming to an end and his time in Bavaria appears to be over.
From January 1, the Austrian will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement before summer 2021 with any foreign club.
There are few more versatile, experienced or talented operators. If the funds are there, it’s obvious, isn’t it?
Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are also linked.
Jamal Musiala, 17, is also at Bayern Munich alongside Alaba.
The England Under-21 international is enjoying a decisive campaign with the European champions, having scored three times nine Bundesliga appearances so far.
As England and Germany battle for the international future of the midfielder, Bayern are also desperate to tie him up beyond the next 18 months of his current contract – even offering up to £ 100,000 per week.
Liverpool have been linked with the prodigy and giving him a reason not to sign a new deal with Bayern could be an important building block for future transfer windows.
It is definitely not tapping, you understand …
A new magic sponge, industrial quantities of cotton, replace all their bones with Adamantium – anything just to stop all the injuries … Please.