Liverpool can save £20-30million in the January transfer market and still win the title

Liverpool are top of the tree at Christmas once again and on the evidence of what we saw at Selhurst Park yesterday, they will be hard to knock off.

he 7-0 win against Crystal Palace may be one of the finest displays of finishing we have seen from Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp took over as manager and that is saying something given their recent history.

The champions only had eight shots on target at Palace and scored from seven of them, which is what this side is capable of when they are at their brilliant best.

There have been plenty of games this season when they have spurned chances in front of goal and ended up scrambling a win or dropping points.

We nearly saw that scenario play out against Tottenham on Wednesday night, as Liverpool had chances to score three or four goals, but fired their shots straight at Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris.


Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Andrew Robertson celebrate after the match Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Andrew Robertson celebrate after the match

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Andrew Robertson celebrate after the match

Pool via REUTERS

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Andrew Robertson celebrate after the match

In the end, Liverpool could easily have lost that match as Spurs had two or three big chances to pick up what would have been a big win.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho claimed his side were better than Liverpool on the night and while that was obviously nonsense given the balance of the game, they could easily have become the first team to win at Anfield in the Premier League since April 2017 as they created several clear-cut chances.

Well, Liverpool made sure the problems that nearly tripped them up against Spurs were well and truly banished yesterday as they went goal-crazy against Palace.

One player I want to pick out for special praise this week is Roberto Firmino, who has been a star turn for Liverpool over the last few weeks.

I was among those suggesting Firmino needed to be left out of the side when Diogo Jota arrived from Wolves and showed some fantastic form.

I’m a big fan of Bobby and he has been vital to everything Klopp’s side have achieved in recent years, but he lost his way for a long time and didn’t offer enough attacking threat in front of goal.

His passing was not as good as it can be and Jota looked like a better bet to start a month ago, but Firmino has turned it all around in the last few games.

He was outstanding against Tottenham and deserved to nick the last-minute winner, while his performance at Palace yesterday was first class.

The finishing for his two goals was top class and he led the way in a performance that was clinical once the initial issues from the first half were put to bed.

Palace were a threat in the opening 45 minutes, as they used tactics that most teams deploy against Liverpool now and looked to get in behind them in wide positions.

Then Liverpool started to flex their muscles in the second half and the quality of their finishing was so impressive.

Jordan Henderson was outstanding once again as he led the team by example and also added a magnificent goal.

That was before Mo Salah came off the bench and showed his class with two goals, one of which may be a goal of the month contender.

It was another reminder of just how good this Liverpool team can be going forward and it raises questions about what happens next.

I have been suggesting for several weeks in my Sunday World columns that Liverpool need to be bold in the transfer market in January and get a defender in to plug the gap left by Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez’s injuries.

The displays put in by the team in the last few weeks may inspire the club to believe they can save £20-30million in the transfer market next month and still win the title.

Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have done a fantastic job filling in at the heart of the defence and Klopp has been singing their praises as a result.

Williams was impressive as he kept Harry Kane quiet on Wednesday bight, but I would still have some concerns that they could get caught out over the course of a long season.

Liverpool have some great young players on the bench right now, but Klopp would not want to be playing too many of them in the same team too often at this formative stage of their development.

With that in mind, I would still be tempted to buy a defender in January, as that one quality investment could be the final piece of the jigsaw that pushes Liverpool over the winning line in the title race.

I know people will be saying Liverpool are going to run away with the Premier League again this season after the win at Palace, but they have shown a few signs of frailty this season and they could surface again.

Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City are teams to be respected and they will of course push Liverpool, while Manchester United have also managed to get themselves into a decent position.

So Liverpool head into Christmas as the team to beat once again and while it would be easy to get carried away with the prospect of winning a 20th domestic league title in 2021, that thought will not cross Klopp’s mind yet. – RSS Feed