Ok, I know what you’re thinking: The transfer window has just ended. Stop this madness!
But it’s the international break. What else is there to think about?
Liverpool’s summer transfer window ended with the £34m arrival of Ryan Gravenberch and the completion of the Reds’ much-discussed midfield rebuild.
With the incomings and outgoings, Jurgen Klopp has significantly reduced the average age of his squad while adding dynamism to the centre of the park. It was a chaotic window at times, but in the end the mission was more or less accomplished.
However, while the main recruitment aims were ticked off this summer, there were still some loose ends left over when the transfer deadline passed on 1 September.
It’s only four months until all the speculation, rumours and chaos starts back up again.
Here are five way too early predictions of what to expect from the Reds’ January 2024 transfer window.
Return of the Salah saga
Starting with the obvious…
Six days after the passing of the European deadline, the Saudi transfer window closed on 7 September, ending any remaining doubt over the immediate future of Mohamed Salah.
Fans rejoiced as a world-record bid never arrived for Liverpool’s number 11 from Al Ittihad, who instead decided a deal was impossible amid the Reds’ unwavering stance.
However, don’t expect the Saudis to go quietly into the night.
Reports claim that relations are strong between all parties and Salah remains a top target for the government-funded Pro League – with more than just Al Ittihad an option.
While a deal seems more plausible next summer, expect the rumours to resume when the window re-opens in January.
Perhaps the biggest concern regarding Liverpool’s recruitment this summer was the lack of a defensive addition to the squad.
Klopp added four midfielders to his team, but no defenders arrived – despite talk of interest in finding a young, left-sided centre back.
Anfield Watch reported the Reds interest in Levi Colwill before he signed a new long-term deal at Chelsea, while Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie was another name looked at.
Reports claimed that Liverpool are prepared to hold out for the right option and could stick with what they’ve got until next summer, when Joel Matip’s contract expires.
It’s a potentially dangerous strategy, however, with Ibrahima Konate already suffering his first injury of the season. Both Joe Gomez and Matip have their own patchy availability records, while Andy Robertson is not a natural fit in this new system.
Conor Bradley’s injury also requires Gomez to cover at right back, further stress testing the squad depth.
Should injuries continue to pile up towards Christmas, the Reds could well accelerate plans to bring in more defensive cover to avoid a 2020/21-esque crisis.
One of the most talked-about names of the summer window among Liverpool fans, Andre Trindade was a player few had heard of before July.
However, the 22-year-old, one-cap Brazil international became a fixture of the gossip columns as Liverpool investigated a move for the midfielder.
Copa Libertadores-chasing Fluminense, however, batted away the Reds’ offer, preferring to wait until the January window.
The Fluminense club president has since confirmed Liverpool’s approach and that Andre will be available for sale in the winter.
Anfield Watch understands it’s unlikely the Reds will return for the player who has also been linked with Fulham and West Ham, but expect the speculation to continue – especially with Thiago Alcantara nearing the end of his Liverpool contract…
Thiago’s future was the subject of some debate over the summer, with many suggesting he might be a casualty of the transition to ‘Liverpool Reloaded’.
The 32-year-old stayed, however, despite links to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and even Barcelona and appears set to see out the final months of his four-year deal at Anfield.
The Spain international is yet to play a minute for the Reds in 2023/24 as he recovers from injury and it looks very possible that it’ll be another season of occasionally brilliant but frustratingly scattered cameos.
While a winter move away from Liverpool seems unlikely, Thiago will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with his next club from January.
If his dad gets his way, Thiago will sign for Celta Vigo.
Right back cover
Not often talked about, but an area that could become one to watch ahead of January is right back.
Though vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold is a lock to start when fit, there are growing concerns over his cover.
20-year-old Northern Ireland international Bradley was set for a season as understudy, after a fine year at Bolton. However, a stress fracture in his back has ruled him out for most of the rest of the calendar year.
With Calvin Ramsay out on loan at Preston, Gomez – a natural centre back – is now the only real option to fill in if and when Alexander-Arnold doesn’t play.
For depth purposes, particularly if Klopp is targeting deep runs in the Europa League and domestic cups, a new right back, or at least a versatile defender who can provide adequate cover, could be a shrewd signing.