Liverpool Transfer News: Empty Transfer Window Won't End Reds' Top-4 Hopes

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the Budweiser FA Cup third round match between Liverpool and Oldham Athletic at Anfield on January 5, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

After opening up their 2013-14 season in emphatic fashion, a lot was made of Liverpool and their hopes of restrengthening in the January transfer window ahead of what could be their biggest end-of-season run-in for a number of years.

However, winter has been cold and frigid at Anfield, with not one name coming to the club despite those high expectations being built up in recent months.

Brendan Rodgers remains hopeful of recruiting "one major signing" before Friday's deadline, however, and is quoted by the Independent's Carl Markham as saying the following:

I think we will hopefully do something over the next couple of days. I saw some headlines after yesterday's press conference in terms of the manager being angry with the club - nothing is further from the truth.

We are not just going to get the players we want to get in for a number of reasons. Hopefully we can have a major signing before the window shuts and if we can do that we will be set up for the remaining games.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty says that Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka is the one name that Rodgers is concentrating on:

With depth being so key to any side's cause at the elite level, one might understand how faith would waiver in Liverpool's bid to once again finish in the top four.

However, all is not lost as a result of the slow business cycle that has taken hold on Merseyside, despite Rodgers being unable to add any quality to his roster.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Manager of Liverpool Brendan Rodgers looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

At present, the Reds are having to contend with a number of key absences in the side, with Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Glen Johnson and Mamadou Sakho's absences all affecting the defence, while Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva's sidelining is a telling blow to the club's engine room.

Some of those faces may yet return to first-team action in the next fortnight, and as long as the club's attacknamely Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridgecan stay fit, the foundations of a top-four team are there.

For now, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure remain arguably Liverpool's best choices for a partnership in centre defence, and the sooner Sakho and Agger return as cover, the better.

That being said, the 4-0 win over Everton showed that even a makeshift defence has the means to contend against some of England's finer quality, with Jon Flanagan and Aly Cissokho filling in well at right-back and left-back, respectively.

This is the most important aspect for Rodgers, who will know that his side are very capable of scoring goals where needed, but as the old saying goes, attack wins you games, but defences win championships.

The midfield runs deep, too, although Rodgers is arguably suffering with a similar issue to David Moyes over at Manchester United in that top-quality options are what's lacking.

So far this season, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Jordon Ibe and Victor Moses have all struggled for playing time, for various reasons, but nevertheless remain satisfactory bench options for what the club needs right now.

As previously mentioned, those options will improve once certain players return to fitness, but the summer transfer window, as is the case with any top European club, will provide better business avenues.

ESPN's Miguel Delaney praises Liverpool for their ability to cope with all the missing stars:

Rodgers will have to persevere with the squad given to him at the start of the season, as things stand, but this is still a team that propelled the club back into some form of Premier League prominence in the last five months.

With morale currently high for the red half of Merseyside, it may be a case of merely hoping for the best as far as squad selection goes, but that best has very high potential in itself to fly a fearsome flag for the Liverpool cause.