Liverpool had a howler on Marcel Sabitzer

Liverpool’s well-documented struggles are clearly discernible this season, with the current FA Cup and Carabao Cup holders falling prey to the end of a formerly prosperous cycle after years of milk and honey under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage.

This season, the Reds are devoid of the fluidity and unrelenting intensity that go in tandem with their German manager’s footballing philosophy, and the club now languish in ninth place in the Premier League, knocked out of both domestic competitions.

Following long-term injuries to attacking duo Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz several months ago, technical director Julian Ward accelerated plans to bolster the frontline and clinched the signing of Cody Gakpo for an initial £35m in the early phases of the January transfer window.

With the midfield illuminated as the epicentre of the crisis this year, many expected the Merseyside outfit to plunge back into the deep end and emerge with a fresh midfielder in tow, but it was not to be; the doors slammed shut and Klopp is left to tinker away with his options and attempt to rectify the wrongs that the club have been beset with.

Manchester United, resurgent under new manager Erik ten Hag, have cast aside the cobwebs from the dreadful preceding campaign and now look set to reclaim a spot in the Champions League and compete for major honours once again.

Bolstering their hopes of maintaining their recent purple patch, the prestigious side sealed a deadline day swoop for Bayern Munich’s Marcel Sabitzer, with the 28-year-old Austrian powerhouse arriving on a six-month loan deal.

Will Liverpool get top four this season?




While names such as Jude Bellingham and Matheus Nunes have been touted for a summer transfer, such optimistic murmuring will do little to quell the turbulent waters that surge weather the Anfield walls and show little sign of abating, with the outfit indeed ten points behind the Red Devils in fourth place, albeit with a game in hand.

Sabitzer has been a menace within the German Bundesliga for several years, starring with RB Leipzig before earning a move to the division’s dominators in 2021, arriving for a reported €16m (£14m).

Having made 185 appearances in the German first division, the star has plundered 34 goals and 29 assists.

And the manner in which United dipped into the market and swiftly emerged with the ace begs the question as to why Liverpool failed to act in a similar manner having first been linked with the midfielder 18 months ago.

Sabitzer ranks among the top 1% of positional peers for total shots, the top 4% for progressive passes received and the top 2% for tackles, as per FBref, and would bring life in abundance to an outfit sapped of potency, a transitional presence adding a valuable dimension to Klopp’s side, who desperately need an extra element of creativity.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Let’s start easy – how many points did Liverpool collect in their 2021/22 Premier League campaign?

Sky Sports’ Uli Koelher amusingly stated yesterday that Man United would be landing a dynamo that “shoots like a horse“, while reporter Keith Costigan once lauded him as the “heartbeat” of his former Leipzig side.

Liverpool were tepid in their transfer approach over the latter period of the window, and the strategy does indeed indicate an acceptance to bide their time and strike with conviction in the summer, but with Thiago Alcantara the only permanent senior midfield signing since the 2018/19 campaign, this inaction could have detrimental consequences.

Sabitzer would have brought energy, direct assault from the centre, perhaps even a goal-scoring streak that he has demonstrated to possess in the past.

Alas, he now dons United colours, and Liverpool must make do with their options, but United’s acquisition is a reminder that options existed on the transfer front, and the Reds failed to act. A chance has certainly gone begging for Ward and co.

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