With the January transfer window now open, the inevitable supporter outcry for new recruits is in full effect. That is particularly applicable to Liverpool at the best of times, however with the club’s current defensive crisis, there is unprecedented demand for club owners FSG to fill the void. With Joel Matip consistently struggling with fitness issues, it appears likely that without a new recruit, the league champions will have put their trust into the inexperienced Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips. Although the youngsters have made somewhat of a name for themselves in recent weeks, it is evident that a more experienced player at the back would be of significantly help, en route to domestic and European title challenges.
With this time of year upon us, we take a look at the top 5 all-time January recruits. While there have been some to forget, notably the once club- record signing Andy Carroll, some of the greatest players to pull on the famous red shirt made their mark on Merseyside.
5. Javier Mascherano
Although the Argentine’s spell at the club ended on a sour note, the midfielder provided three excellent years of service to the Reds between 2007-2010, playing a pivotal role in one of the best Liverpool teams of recent times. Aggressive in the tackle while comfortable on the ball, the complete number 6, it is no surprise Mascherano ended his career with a glittering CV. His combination with Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso during his spell, was a midfield that ticked all the boxes. The trio certainly gave the fans something to shout about, echoed by this iconic chant:
4. Daniel Sturridge
Snapped up for just £8m in 2013, the forward’s Liverpool career was ultimately ruined by countless injuries, however a prime Sturridge during the 2013-14 campaign was simply world-class. One of the best forward duos to grace the Premier League, his partnership with Luis Suarez struck dread into every defender, carrying the club to a Premier League title charge. The Englishman contributed to 31 goals in just 29 league appearances, scoring a host of memorable goals along the way, most notably a delightful chip at home to West Brom. He will always be held in the highest regard by Liverpool fans, through that magical campaign alone, and a memorable celebration that we became so accustomed to seeing.Embed from Getty Images
3. Phillipe Coutinho
Another recruit bought for just £8m, the Brazilian magician was also a shining light of that 13-14 season, but continued to show his class for many years beyond. A joy to watch, the Samba flair shone through on each occasion he pulled on famous red. The trademark move of his, cutting in from the left curling them in the top right corner, was something the Kop revelled in, and never tired of seeing. Although the departure was saddening, at a time in which his game was reaching a truly elite level, Liverpool ultimately have a lot to thank him for. Without his colossal £142m received from Barcelona, it’s probable the horrid wait for a title would still be haunting the club today. He’ll always be remembered fondly, for the moments of pure genius he provided, in a 5 year spell on Merseyside.Embed from Getty Images
2. Luis Suarez
Bought alongside Andy Carroll, the cheaper of the pair wrote himself into Anfield folklore. The magic El Pistolero produced on a football pitch was at times jaw-dropping, on multiple occasions dragging the Reds to victory with undisputed world-class ability. During that memorable 13-14 campaign, the Uruguayan contributed to a staggering 48 goals in only 33 league matches. He got the crowd off their seats on each occasion he picked up possession, a true joy to watch. Fans will most vividly remember a sensational display v Norwich during the above year, a mesmerising individual performance. When at his peak, undeniably one of the best players to ever represent Liverpool Football Club.Embed from Getty Images
1, Virgil Van Dijk
When a world-record £75m transfer fee was coughed up to Southampton for the Dutchman’s services, eyebrows were sharply raised. Although it was what Liverpool needed, the price tag understandably raised significant question marks. Rival fans were laughing, but not for long. The best defender on the planet by some distance, the colossus has completely transformed Liverpool into the global powerhouse that they are today. The 29-year-old is the most complete defender we are ever likely to see, ticking every box that could possibly be wanted in a defender. Van Dijk has played a pivotal part in the return of the club’s glory days, leading to a sixth European Cup and helping achieve every supporter’s dream, the one that’s got away, the elusive Premier League title. A true footballing elite. And he’s got a song to match…