Brendan Rodgers may be the man to lead Liverpool out of their current mire, but they need help. Recent results against Stoke and Aston Villa have shown that it could still be some time before they challenge for a Premier League title.
The first half of this season has poked holes in Rodgers' master plan and he will hope for an active transfer window in order to rectify the situation.
Turning possession into goals has been a persistent problem for Liverpool this year and it's unreasonable to expect Luis Suarez to carry that burden. It's not surprising that the team has been linked with strikers in the run-up to the transfer window.
It's not just strikers, either. The rumour mill is turning every day, with new players churned up from the footballing depths.
This situation serves as a useful analogy for Sturridge's career and Liverpool would be unwise to rely on him to save their season.
Sturridge's attitude is the black cloud on the horizon here, especially playing within a Rodgers system that requires all players to commit to it. Most of his Chelsea goals came as a substitute and he could once again find himself relegated to that role if he doesn't show maturity and a willingness to dedicate himself.
Sturridge did not enjoy operating as a wide player when he was at Chelsea, clearly believing that he is better suited to a central striking role. The problem is that Luis Suarez will be equally unenthusiastic about relinquishing that position, especially given his success this year.
It says something about Liverpool's recent fortunes that they are reported to be making a £6 million bid for a player they let go for £250,000 just 18 months ago.
Ince is understandably wary about joining his former club and being forced into a part-time role. He has flourished at Blackpool in a much larger role and understandably drawn the attention of larger clubs.
At 20, his career is very much on the rise and he wants to make the right move.
The Independent reported that Liverpool's bid for Ince was dismissed as too small and Blackpool will be looking to get the most for their emerging star. If they are to lose Ince's goals (13 in 21 games), their bid for Premier League status will stall, so Liverpool will find themselves forced into higher bids as the window closes.
What is Liverpool's biggest positional need?
Liverpool need to support Suarez with goals from midfield, which hasn't happened this year. Suarez has 14 from all competitions, while Steven Gerrard is second with five. The fact that Joe Cole sits in joint fifth place with three goals says all you need to know.
Holtby has refused to sign a new contract with FC Schalke, according to Goal.com. An Everton fan, he could yet join Robbie Fowler as a childhood Everton supporter who goes on to make his mark on the red half of Merseyside.
Holtby would likely join Liverpool as a successor to Gerrard, with his hard-playing style enabling him to take control of the game and force the tempo. He has the ability to sit deep in front of the defence and run the play or operate in a traditional midfield role and link the attacks.
He would suit Rodgers' play and offer him hope for a life beyond Steven Gerrard, which no other Liverpool manager has been able to envision.
As important as Gerrard has been—and remains—for Liverpool, he isn't the future of the team.
If Rodgers is to play a role in that future, he needs to look past one of Liverpool's favourite sons. The acquisition of Holtby could enable him to do that before the season is out.