Liverpool’s shoddy transfer window will cost them the top four

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It’s been a bad couple of days for Liverpool as the January transfer window closed with a whimper before they stuttered to a one-all draw with West Brom.

Thankfully, dropping two points against the Baggies didn’t damage the Reds’ quest for a Champions League return too badly, with Spurs and Manchester United failing to capitalise, but it’s the lack of transfer activity that will sound the death knell for Brendan Rodgers’.

Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s managing director, had Ukrainian star Yevhen Konoplyanka lined up as the number one target during January, only to see the deal for the winger fall flat.

With no backup plan in place, failing to land Konoplyanka has left Liverpool’s squad looking more than a little thin for the all-important Premier League run in.

That was highlighted perfectly in the West Brom game, where the substitutes’ bench failed to house the kind of impact players needed to turn the tide in Rodgers’ favour.

Joe Allen and Martin Kelly were the two substitutes used, while the summer’s trio of new arrivals, Victor Moses, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, all remained unused.

Compare the calibre of those players to regular subs like Andre Schurrle and Fernando Torres at Chelsea, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo at Manchester City and even Erik Lamela and Jermain Defoe at Spurs and it’s clear that the Anfield club are lacking.

A failure to add to the depth of the squad means Liverpool’s entire transfer dealings this season will ultimately cost them their top-four ambitions, dreams that are priced as 4/7 chances with Ladbrokes currently.

Moses, Aspas and Alberto have made 11 Premier League starts between them, while their other summer business has hardly flourished.

Kolo Toure made the error that handed West Brom their equaliser while Aly Cissokho has failed to impress fans since joining on loan from Valencia.

Only Simon Mignolet and Mamadou Sakho have performed to expectations so far this term and it is this low strike rate in the transfer market that will see Liverpool left behind in the top-four race.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.