Jurgen Klopp has admirably batted away questions regarding Liverpool's interest in signing players during the transfer window, but surely even the affable German cannot deny further resources are needed to end the 27-year wait for a league title. The Reds have been free-flowing going forward and are the Premier League's top scorers – but their backline is jeopardising attempts to break their title duck.
Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho have torn rival Premier League defences apart at this season, keeping them on the coattails of Chelsea and Arsenal at the top. But Klopp will be under pressure from fans from the red half of Merseyside to build on an impressive start to a campaign that has formed the foundations for a genuine title tilt.
What they need
Only Manchester City can rival Liverpool for defensive ineptitude in the higher echelons of the Premier League this season, but while Pep Guardiola invested heavily in his back four over the summer, Klopp merely tinkered. Joel Matip arrived on a free while just £5m (€5.9m), according to the Daily Mail, was spent on Ragnar Klavan. Neither have fared badly, but are they title-winning players?
Furthermore, with Klopp having lost confidence in Alberto Moreno after last year's Europa League final, James Milner has been a near ever-present at left-back. The former England international has performed admirably in the circumstances, but surely the Reds cannot threaten the top three without a full-time option in the role. The same goes for the goalkeeping position, which has seen Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius rotated without success.
Who could join?
Joe Hart has conceded he has no future at Manchester City and is ready to find a permanent home, having been sent on a season-long loan to Torino. The Daily Mirror understand the Reds are monitoring the England international in an effort to solve their goalkeeping crisis.
Former Liverpool trainee Aaron Cresswell appears to be the most likely option for Klopp at left-back, given the plight of West Ham United this season. The Metro reported in December that the England man was seen touching the Anfield sign as he entered the pitch before their Premier League clash. Could be set for a return to Merseyside?
Who could leave?
Sadio Mane's departure to the Africa Cup of Nations and Danny Ings' season-ending knee injury should ensure that Daniel Sturridge remains beyond the end of January – though West Ham could test Liverpool's patience after Slaven Bilic confirmed his interest in the player. Further departures are expected to be few and far between, but a clutch of the club's impressive youngsters – including Ben Woodburn – could be sent on loan to gain experience.
What the manager has said
"Our scouting department had breakfast and I sat with them so we have all the time together, speaking 'which for winter, which for summer' and that is always like this," Klopp told the Liverpool Echo. "You need to be prepared. That is what we try to be.At the end I have no idea if we do something in the winter or if not. Of course, the more injuries we have, the more you have to think about it but a lot of people thought in the summer we should have more players but I thought it worked out really well."