Liverpool should think twice about January transfers after an uninspiring FA Cup victory

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Liverpool have been eye-catching in their absence from the gossip columns in recent weeks.

Although they have been consistently linked with the likes of Raphinha, Ismaila Sarr and (* sighs *) Kylian Mbappé for weeks, months and even years now, there have been no fresh, tangible reports during the build-up to January or since the window creaked. up.

It is despite a Covid-19 outburst, injuries and key players Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Naby Keita who all retire to represent their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon as the Reds try to retain a title challenge.

Manager Jürgen Klopp has previously shown a willingness to lean towards his youth ranks when first-team players need rest or he lacks options, and that was what he decided to do when Liverpool welcomed League One Shrewsbury Town in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

It was a team that combined both youth and experience, with Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Fabinho starting together with the likes of Tyler Morton, Kaide Gordon and Max Woltman. Trent Alexander-Arnold was missing after testing positive for Covid-19 after a draw against Chelsea on January 2.

Although they eventually won 4-1, the result line did not tell the whole story in any way.

It was along Alexander-Arnold’s flank that the Reds were terribly exposed twice in two minutes when Shrews took a shock lead. Outfielder Nathaneal Ogbeta delivered a cruel post that his teammates failed to take advantage of, and a minute later was again given space to put in another of the standing right-back Conor Bradley.

Striker Daniel Udoh was in the middle to give an emphatic finish and haunted in behind the sleeping Ibrahima Konate.

Bradley did well with a fine cross for Gordon to equalize, but Liverpool demanded a penalty to take the lead through Fabinho, who was often forced to carry his side all the time. Roberto Firmino’s cheeky back heel when he returned from injury and Fabinho’s second saw a late Brazilian volley put an undeserved shine on the goal line.

Although the goals eventually came, the home team lacked creativity throughout the second half and were largely kept out by their opponents in the third tier. Gordon and Morton were solid, but performances from other youngsters like Bradley on the right back show that Liverpool should try to strengthen their depth this month.

The more established back-up players who will expect to play a more significant role in the absence of others also flattered to cheat; Curtis Jones failed to take the match in the neck in an unfamiliar left-wing role, while Takumi Minamino barely did anything after coming on as a substitute at half-time.

Although rumors suggest that nothing is on the way, this is a result that should serve as an alarm clock for a month in which Liverpool must survive without some of their best players and retain a title challenge. If they do not act now to adjust the squad and perhaps add some decent rotation options, it could be costly.

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