Liverpool’s apparent refusal to act during the January transfer window could have damaging ramifications for the long-term, according to Simon Hughes.
Despite the fans’ (and, one would safely speculate, Jurgen Klopp’s) frustration over the lack of signings, and the apparent need for a new centre-back, the club appear likely to endure the second-half of the season with only one senior centre-half available in Joel Matip.
“Klopp’s warning after last Sunday’s draw with United that ‘the most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League’ should have acted as a stark reminder of the world that Liverpool, led by FSG, operate in,” the journalist wrote for The Athletic. “Football is a game of snakes and ladders and, given the model in place at Liverpool, it will take time for the club to recover if the team finishes outside the top four.”
“Should they fail to qualify for the Champions League, current players will want to leave, it will become more difficult to renegotiate contracts, and the targets they wanted to sign in the summer won’t want to come,” Hughes added. “FSG deserves enormous credit for steadily rebuilding Liverpool but after more than a decade of ownership, they should be aware of this by now.”
In a world where social media seemingly dictates the existence of a binary choice, as far as critique of the ownership goes – FSGOUT or FSGIN – it’s refreshing to hear views accepting that the reality of the situation isn’t quite so black and white.
One would have had to have their head stuck in the sand since 2010 to not realise the remarkable impact FSG have had on the club.
Klopp transformed most of us from ‘doubters to believers’ but it’s FSG’s efforts that will ensure our success under the German isn’t just a blissful, but momentary, blip on the timeline.
That’s not to say that the owners are immune to criticism, of course, with the Reds boss emphasising in his pre-United presser that the decision to bring in a player is not one he can make alone.
There’s a chance that we could all be laughing about this in the summer, with the club safely in the Champions League spots, but with so much riding on that particular eventuality, can the owners afford the risks associated with a transfer embargo during the window?