Liverpool's season has lurched from bad to worse in the second half of 2014. Last term's heights are nothing but a warm memory, with a challenge for a top-four finish the very best they can hope for.
But in order to facilitate that, a successful January on and off the pitch is essential.
Two years ago in manager Brendan Rodgers' first season at Anfield, the club conducted wonderful mid-season business. Last season it was a disaster, as they missed out on two targets in Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka. If the club are willing to spend this time around, that poor approach cannot happen again.
What they need
In Daniel Sturridge's absence, Liverpool's options of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini have contributed just one Premier League between them. Rodgers' decision to adapt a system that does not feature a recognised striker is the strongest indictment of his lack of faith in the trio, something that demands for another option to brought in, even with Sturridge's return to squad in mind.
Should Rodgers also refrain from recalling Simon Mignolet to his first team on merit then a new goalkeeper is also essential. With respect to Brad Jones, the gulf in clash between Liverpool's number one should Rodgers persist with the Australian and those of Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Manchester United and Arsenal is staggering.
Who could join?
Victor Valdes and Petr Cech have been touted as two possible solutions to Liverpool's problems in goal. But given Valdes' recently renewed relationship with Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho's outright refusal to even consider allowing his former number one custodian to leave, there are limited options for Rodgers out there.
Saido Berahino remains heavily linked with fixing Liverpool's woes at the other end of the pitch. Martin Montoya's decision to leave Barcelona in January may have alerted the Anfield club, who will inevitably have to consider adding another right-back to their squad given the current contract impasse between them and Glen Johnson.
Who could leave?
Mario Balotelli's abject first half of the season has been so uninspiring that there would appear to few takers should Liverpool choose to offload the 24-year-old. Fabio Borini's decision to reject Sunderland in the summer may have come back to haunt him but Inter Milan would appear willing to offer the forward an escape route, should Rodgers be willing to loan him out.
What the manager has said
"I won't comment on any player linked to here. My only concentration is working with the group here and if there is a possibility of strengthening in January, we'll take a look."