By William Hill
2nd January 2019
Starting at the tip of the Premier League iceberg, news.williamhill.com will be taking a look at the prime objectives of the division’s 20 teams in the January transfer window.
First up for assessment are table-topping Liverpool, who are now trading at just 8/15 to win their first top-flight title since 1989/90 after opening up a six-point lead on the chasing pack at the time of writing, with a game in hand over second-placed Tottenham.
One to sign: Thorgan Hazard
While much Liverpool transfer gossip around the winter window has focused around the potential need for a left-back to deputise for Andrew Robertson ahead of the defensively dubious Alberto Moreno, an injury to one of the Reds’ wide forwards could be equally, if not more, damaging.
True, Roberto Firmino could switch out to the flank, where he often played for Hoffenheim, but that would necessitate bringing in the less industrious Daniel Sturridge or the slower Divock Origi.
Xherdan Shaqiri has looked a summer snip when called upon to understudy Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane, but the Swiss international struggled for consistency during spells with Bayern Munich and Stoke City and cannot be guaranteed to hold his form.
Then there’s Adam Lallana, skilful and industrious certainly, but injury prone and nowhere near as direct as the Egyptian or his Senegalese attacking foil.
Hazard, 25, has been enjoying a stellar season for Borussia Monchengladbach and Belgium, scoring 11 times in his last 19 outings for club and country, assisting another six for good measure.
One to shift: Daniel Sturridge
A club of Liverpool’s pedigree are very seldom in the position where they need to sell players, but with Sturridge inside the final year of his contract and already able to talk to clubs from overseas, now represents a last chance to shift the 29-year-old for some financial recompense.
Four goals in 16 outings this term have acted as a timely reminder of his gifts when fitness allows and if the Reds are to ditch one player this January, ‘Studger’ could be the one that makes most sense.
Origi may lack the silky skills of the Englishman, but he’s far less likely to succumb to injury over the course of the campaign than the former Manchester City and Chelsea man.
One who stays: Alberto Moreno
Another Anfield ace out of contract in the summer, losing Moreno now would be far more problematic than a Sturridge exit.
Andrew Robertson has kept the Spaniard out of the side thus far in 2018/19, but if the former Sevilla man was out of the picture and the Scotsman copped a mid-term injury, the available deputies would weaken Klopp’s cover in other areas, notably midfield.
Moreno aside, James Milner or Fabinho would most likely be called upon, diluting midfield options, while playing out of position.