Jurgen Klopp will enter the transfer market in January after he admitted Danny Ings’ season-ending injury has dramatically altered his plans.
Liverpool’s manager was intending to hand Ings a platform in the New Year, given Sadio Mane will be part of the Senegal squad that goes to Gabon for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, which starts on January 14. If Senegal reach the final, Mane will be away from Anfield until February 5.
Ings underwent surgery on Wednesday, though, to correct cartilage damage and Klopp believes the combined absences of him and Mane will leave Liverpool short of forwards and he is now assessing his options with Michael Edwards, the new Sporting Director.
Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic is a winger whom Liverpool are tracking but a deal to sign him in January would be far from straightforward and it is more likely that any deal for the €20m-rated American teenager will be completed next summer.
Klopp reported that Ings’ surgery had gone well and he has started his rehabilitation but said: ‘We watch the market all the time and we need to be prepared for different situations and one of them is injuries. It (January) could be a moment when we approach the market.
‘It’s not about how many strikers. Three strikers is enough, I think. But when Sadio is away we will be without a winger. We do not have many wingers, I would say. Roberto Firmino could play as a kind of a winger which would then just give us two strikers. That’s how it is.
‘But it is a long way to go until January and that month is busy. If we can go to the semi-final of League Cup it could be the busiest month of the year. We need to be prepared for this, for sure.’
Edwards has been promoted from the position of Technical Director and will be responsible for conducting transfer and contract negotiations but Klopp has made it clear that no player will be signed without his approval.
‘I will always have the final say, maybe that’s the most important thing for you to know,’ said Klopp, whose side face Watford on Sunday. ‘If something is wrong, was wrong or will be wrong in the future with transfers it’s my responsibility.’
Liverpool’s form at Anfield this season has been exemplary but they have only lost one match – to Manchester United in January – at home in the last 12 months. It was on this weekend last year that Klopp turned in dismay to see supporters leaving their seats early during a loss to Crystal Palace.
The atmosphere has significantly changed since then and Klopp said: ‘The performances this season from the crowd and team have been better. If you ask me I’d like the best atmosphere ever against Watford. There’s nothing better to do, let’s try it.’