Jürgen Klopp had his wish granted by Fenway Sports Group (FSG) to bolster the Backline of Liverpool Fc (The Reds) that was in dire need of reinforcement.
With Joël Matip later confirmed to have sustained an Ankle Ligament Damage, the Cameroonian Defender would most likely miss the rest of the Season.
Matip’s latest injury setback meant that he joined fellow Defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez as long-term Absentees.
As such, the Defensive Trio are unlikely to play before the end of the campaign.
For most of this Season though Matip has struggled with frequent injuries and his persistent injuries made him an unreliable option.
Due to the lack of Senior Centre Back Options; Klopp at times was forced to utilise the inexperienced duo of Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips.
As such; for the majority of the season, the versatile Midfielder Fabinho had been forced to play as a Makeshift Centre Back but missed the last few games due to a minor muscle related issue.
Even Captain Jordan Henderson played as a Makeshift Centre Back for the sake of the Team. All this contributed to the rationales behind the double deadline day swoop for the reigning English Champions.
However; due to the effects of the COVID-19 on the Club’s revenues, the Reds had to work with a limited Transfer Budget and were unable to spend huge amounts of money.
Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, the Reds finally entered late in the Transfer Market before the Winter Transfer Window 2021 Deadline.
On the brink of signing for the reigning Scottish champions Celtic Football Club; the left footed defender Ben Davis was purchased as he is considered as a viable option to strengthen a threadbare backline.
The deal was easier to negotiate as Davies was in into the final 6 months of his contract with Preston North End Fc and the Reds swiftly swooped in for an initial fee of £500,000 (approx.) that could rise to as much as £1.6 Million (approx.).
Blessed with composure and pace, the 25 years old Davies is regarded as one of the finest left sided defenders in the EFL Championship.
Part of the Davis deal saw youngster Sepp Van Den Berg move to Preston North End Fc for the rest of the Season. The EFL Championship Club have first refusal on a second loan next term, if certain appearance related percentages are met by the end of the campaign.
But, the search for a Centre Back was not over as the Reds completed the signing of Ozan Kabak from FC Schalke 04 on loan until the end of this Season.
The two Clubs agreed a loan fee of £1 Million (approx.) for the 20 years old Turkish International and the deal does not carry an obligation to buy, but the Reds does have the option to make the deal permanent for £18m (approx.) ahead of the Summer Transfer Window 2021.
It is also understood that part of the deal does not need to be activated until June 2021, so that gives Klopp sufficient time to properly assess Kabak ahead of a potential move later in the year.
The one stumbling block for the Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 to find a reliable replacement for Kabak was swiftly resolved after agreeing a deal with Arsenal Fc for the German International Defender Shkodran Mustafi.
Klopp’s best friend, David Wagner (Former FC Schalke 04 Coach) made strong recommendations about Kabak and that piqued the interest in Kabak.
With no obligation for the Reds to purchase Kabak, the Club can essentially view the loan signing of Kabak as a “try before you buy” deal before making the decision to make the deal permanent ahead of the Summer Transfer Window 2021.
For Kabak, this presents an ideal opportunity to step up in his career as he was unable to realise his potential at FC Schalke 04 who are battling to avoid relegation this Season.
So being with the Reds under Klopp’s guidance, the youngster has a stable team around him that can help him fulfil his potential and be the Star Player of the Reds in the future.
The Reds got both Davis’s and Kabak’s deals over the line on time but Premier League rules stipulates that Top Flight sides are allowed to name 17 non-home grown Players in their squads.
This meant there may be unfortunate loser after the Duo’s transfers. For the second time this season, Liverpool faced the possibility of having too many Players for their Premier League and Champions League squads.
Earlier this Season, Marko Grujić became the casualty and was offloaded to Portuguese side FC Porto on a Season-Long loan. With Kabak joining the Reds, Klopp could have found himself in the similar predicament once again.
But; it is understood that there would not be the need to offload a non-home grown Player. Still, there were many Players linked with Winter Transfer 2021 Exits.
Players like Adrián, Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, Georginio Wijnaldum and few youngsters were linked with leaving the Reds.
But, Takumi Minamino left the Reds to join Southampton Fc on loan for the rest of the Season with no option to make the deal permanent. Since joining the Reds from FC Red Bull Salzburg 13 months ago, Minamino struggled to break into the side on a regular basis.
The Japanese International netted his first Premier League Goal which the Reds eventually won 0-7 over the hosts Crystal Palace on December 2020.
Unable to build up any real momentum, the 26 years old had very little Premier League action as Minamino started just the once this Season against the hosts Crystal Palace Fc and spent the last three games as an unused substitute.
Minamino appeared to have been way down the pecking order as Klopp favoured Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Verdict: Given the effects of COVID-19 on Club’s revenue and armed with a limited Transfer Budget, the Reds had done a commendable job to address the issues head on whether that was strengthening in terms of creativity or attacking or defence.
Completing the transfer deals for Ben Davis and Ozan Kabak before the Winter Transfer Window 2021 Deadline; will be considered as another brilliant masterstroke from Klopp and FSG.
The Reds calmly waited to sign a centre-back on Winter Transfer Window 2021 deadline day. Even though Davies is a cheaper option but it’s hard to envisage him challenging for a first team place when Van Dijk and Gomez returns back in action.
Kabak however is young, hungry and willing to learn. This will work in his favour but then again, the competition for places will get pretty intense soon.
As for Minamino, only time will tell whether loaning the Japanese International instead of offloading the ineffective Origi was a wise decision by Klopp and Messrs.