Liverpool are approaching a time when they must make a long-term decision over the future of Aly Cissokho, and the Reds would be best advised to negotiate their way out of a permanent deal, if able to do so.
Cissokho, signed on a season-long loan from Valencia with a view to a permanent deal, per BBC Sport, was part of manager Brendan Rodgers' plans to strengthen the club's defensive depth.
However, the left-back has not impressed and a deal to move to Anfield permanently is in doubt, according to a report by Paul Collins in the Daily Mail Online.
Collins suggests Liverpool could send the player back to Valencia in January, an option Rodgers should take if on the table.
France international Cissokho arrived at Liverpool to compete with Jose Enrique at left-back, but he has failed to meet the standards Rodgers set as he seeks to lead the Reds into the Champions League next season.
At times, Rodgers has preferred to promote Jon Flanagan—a natural right-back—or even play Daniel Agger out of position, rather than start Cissokho.
During the summer, Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho also joined Liverpool's ranks as Rodgers attempted to add strength in depth, experience and more competition for places among his defensive options.
But, while Mignolet has slotted in seamlessly, and Toure and Sakho have largely impressed when called upon, Cissokho has flattered to deceive, making only 10 appearances, including just eight in the Premier League.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo reports that Cissokho is a high earner at the club and is the latest loan player signed at great expense to not offer good value for money, saying:
"Cissokho looks out of his depth. The bottom line is a club of Liverpool’s stature shouldn’t need to delve into the loan market for reinforcements."
The problem is, however, that while Liverpool continue their steep upward trajectory under Rodgers, they will continue to have a high turnover of players.
Victor Moses of Chelsea is another to have taken a short-term trip to Merseyside, only to find himself struggling to meet the grade.
Players purchased in the summer, such as Iago Aspas or Cissokho, are already being considered surplus to requirements at Anfield as the club begins to realistically plan for the challenge of Champions League football.
In this respect, the loan market is a better option. Taking a player like Cissokho, short-term represents better financial sense than buying him outright and then selling him on at a loss when his services are no longer required.
That would appear the case with Aspas, unless the diminutive forward sparks a turnaround in his Anfield career.
Rodgers' record in the transfer market stands up to scrutiny for the most part, the successful purchases of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge allowing him the odd mistake.
Similarly, the chance to dispense of a misfit like Cissokho quickly and cheaply will allow him a second chance to reinforce Liverpool's defence, freeing up a meaty salary to offer elsewhere.