Having built up high expectations with a busy summer transfer window, Liverpool's January recruitment efforts have failed to capture the same sense of ambition.
The club are yet to bring in a single player this month, temporary or permanent, despite enjoying one of their more productive starts to a campaign in recent years.
Brendan Rodgers remains hopeful of yet concluding some winter business, but with only a few days remaining until the January opening slams shut, it doesn't seem likely that the club will be seeing any new faces until the summer.
Speaking ahead of the Merseyside derby this week, Rodgers is quoted by Liverpool's official website as saying the following when quizzed on transfer prospects between now and Friday's deadline:
We have to wait and see on that. There's certainly nothing imminent. But we always felt if we could do [business] then it was something we wanted to do.
I said all along this was a group that we needed that wee bit of luck with to keep clear of injury and unfortunately we've been hit by a bad run of injuries. I'm just reluctant to bring in anyone that is just going to stockpile players. We need to bring in players that are really going to affect the starting XI. And if we can't do that, then we won't be doing anything.
The club is working hard on that to find the players; it's just a very difficult market to find the player and do a deal and to get it over the line. We won't stop until the very end and hopefully we can.
The manager's admission that "nothing is imminent" would be what stands out most. While Premier League rivals have been linked with a long list of names in the last four weeks, it's been a relatively quiet time at Anfield.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo also reports Rodgers as accepting that Basel winger Mohamed Salah was a lost cause after opting to join Chelsea:
After several months of competition, whispers had begun to emerge that Liverpool may go on to challenge for Premier League honours in what would be a shocking turnaround of standards.
Of course, this month hasn't been a complete drought in business. Sponsorship deals were signed with Garuda, Dunkin' Donuts and Vauxhall, and the Telegraph's Chris Bascombe made light of the situation:
In Luis Suarez, the club has one of the most capable finishers in the game at their disposal. But there are other areas of the squad that most certainly aren't of the same quality.
That being said, one can understand why owner John Henry or others in the club's hierarchy might be apprehensive about splurging in a period of the year that's notorious for lacking in value.
In the end, it seems as though Rodgers will have to trust in the assets that have gotten him this far, with the likes of Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Mamadou Sakho, Lucas Leiva and Jon Flanagan all sidelined at present.
It's a risky strategy, admittedly, given that a lack of depth promises to be their undoing. But if Liverpool can survive and, dare one say it, finish among the Premier League's top four, it will be Rodgers' crowning achievement in the post thus far.
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