Premier League

Liverpool Fans Want Lemar Signed Before Coutinho Departs

 • by Adam Newson
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The first half of the Premier League season has been an inconsistent one for Liverpool.

At times the Reds have played sumptuous attacking football – the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho a blur of creativity and pace which opposition defences have been unable to stop.

Unfortunately, for Liverpool’s Dr Jekyll, there is a Mr Hyde. And when that side of the Reds turns up, it’s frustrating to watch.

There was the goalless draw at home to West Bromwich Albion, the crushing defeat at Wembley to Tottenham Hotspur and then 1-1 draw against Rafa Bentiez’s Newcastle United.

Despite their set-backs Jürgen Klopp’s side remain firmly in the race for a top four spot. But they can’t afford too many slip ups between now and the end of the campaign.

Every point is important, every player valuable in the chase for the Champions League. It’s why the reports linking Coutinho to Barcelona once again are far from ideal.

The January transfer window provides an opportunity for Liverpool to bolster their squad and, maybe, improve their defence. There could be a big-name signing but that is likely to be saved for the summer, when any new arrival will be joined by Naby Keita.

In order to get an idea of what Reds fans are thinking ahead of the winter transfer window, we canvassed the opinion of Liverpool fans Jay Riley, David O’Connell, Joel Rabinowitz and Jack Sear from AnfieldHQ

Which areas do Liverpool need to strengthen in January and why?

DaveI would like to see Liverpool bring in a top quality centre-back and goalkeeper.

Klopp has shown faith in Dejan Lovren but at times it feels like it borders on stubbornness with him being reluctant to ‘give into’ pressure from the media and fans.

Unfortunately it is hard to see Liverpool challenging over a full season with Lovren in the side. I would be happy with Virgil van Dijk but I also feel that he is overvalued at the moment due to the constant media hype around him. Kalidou Koulibaly would be a good alternative.

It can be argued that Simon Mignolet is having one of his best seasons at the club but I don’t think he has the same ability of previous goalkeepers who have won the Premier League and ultimately that is where Liverpool want to be.

Jan Oblak would be a great purchase by Liverpool but it remains to be seen if Liverpool could match competitors wages battling for his signature. I still believe Danny Ward could be good enough to prove he has the capabilities to be long-term No.1 at the club.

Name the three realistic transfer targets you would like Liverpool to sign in January and who should they replace in your starting XI?

Jack: IN: van Dijk

The obvious one. The defender that Liverpool need. Hopefully they can get this over the line, but it sounds like City have now come into the equation.

OUT: Lovren

I don’t think Lovren deserves quite the amount of criticism that he gets, but I think a Matip and van Dijk partnership could be very impressive.

IN: Thomas Lemar

Another one that it seems Liverpool tried and failed to sign in the summer. Hopefully there’s still an interest. I’m all for more forwards!

OUT: This is impossible. Long-term – Philippe Coutinho.

Giving Lemar six months to settle and then saying goodbye to Coutinho in the summer could be a good plan.

IN: Leon Goretzka

Summer move may be more likely, but he definitely looks like he’s on the move. Would bring a different dimension to our midfield.

OUT: Emre Can

Not like-for-like playing style wise but Can’s inevitable departure will mean we’ll need new midfielders. It will be sad to see Emre go but I trust Klopp to replace him.

What is your number one fear for the January window?

JayThe biggest fear in January would be if Liverpool cracked and sold Coutinho to Barcelona, if they offered a huge fee that owners Fenway Sports Group deemed acceptable.

Already it’s been evident so far this season that he makes us tick and is the catalyst for the way we play. I know sooner or later he will end up leaving, but mid-season is far from ideal and it won’t be easy to find his replacement during the winter transfer window. 

What would your dream January transfer window look like?

JoelFirst of all, keeping Coutinho is absolutely imperative.

The club have to hold firm again and resist whatever Barca may offer. Unfortunately, he’ll probably leave in the summer though, so to plan ahead I’d very much like us to bring in Lemar from Monaco and give him the rest of the season to bed in.

Elsewhere, a quality centre back could be a game-changer for what we ultimately achieve this season. van Dijk is the obvious choice, if Southampton would be willing to do business. He’d still be a superb addition. 

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