Liverpool will turf out a failed signing in January with a view to bringing in more useful upgrades despite Jurgen Klopp declaring the star in question will stay, according to one observer.
Liverpool concluded the first portion of the season with a pair of league wins that has sparked hope the campaign can be rescued.
The Reds still lay seven points outside the top four, though vital victories against Tottenham specifically and Southampton helped close the gap.
Liverpool also survived a penalty shoot-out against Derby County in the EFL Cup. Caoimhin Kelleher was one again the hero in that competition, repelling no fewer than three spot kicks.
Klopp’s side will also be boosted post-World Cup by the return of several injured stars. The six-week break has come at just the right time for the likes of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota – from a Liverpool perspective, at least.
A further boost may come in the form of January reinforcements. Indeed, Jude Bellingham is known to be their primary target in the problem position of central midfield next summer, though the Spanish press reckon an old Klopp flame could be signed in winter.
The injury return of Arthur Melo will also be like a new signing in theory. The Brazilian, 26, was a deadline day loanee from Juventus, though his reputation for being injury prone has proved well-founded.
Arthur is currently sidelined with a serious thigh injury and rumours begun to swirl Liverpool would cut the deal short in January.
The Reds also hold an option to buy next summer worth around €37.5m, though there’s little appetite to make the dubious move permanent.
In spite of spending most of his time on Merseyside on the treatment table, Klopp previously dismissed any notion the loan will be cut short.
Klopp refutes early Arthur exit rumours
“He’s here. It’s a long-term injury and when he’s back, we’ll think about it again,” said Klopp in late-October (via the Liverpool Echo).
“But at the moment, it’s too far away. No [we won’t cut the loan in January].”
However, according to former Premier League full-back, Alan Hutton, Liverpool would be wise to ignore their manager and admit defeat on Arthur.
In Hutton’s eyes, doing so would also free up space and money for a new addition – something Klopp would surely welcome.
Pointless delaying the inevitable with Arthur – Hutton
When asked if Liverpool’s decision-makers will cut the line, the former Scotland international said (via Football Insider): “I think they will and he’ll be off.
“They have obviously needed somebody in the door quite quickly because of all the injury problems they had. It has not quite worked out.
“We have not seen him. So it is one of those ones where maybe it is time to cut their losses and move on.
“They will have players back from injury, they might go and use the transfer window in January to bring in reinforcements.
“It is just probably one of those ones that has not worked at all.“