It would be a shame if Liverpool didn't make the most of the major window that has opened up for them. They can't remain static during the January transfer window.
Brendan Rodgers has said that the club is planning to make "one major signing," per Sky Sports:
I think we will hopefully do something over the next couple of days. 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.
In what was a repeat of the summer, the Reds watched as one of their top targets headed to Chelsea after everything looked like a done deal. A few months ago, it was Willian. This month, it was Mohamed Salah.
After the Egyptian winger spurned Anfield for Stamford Bridge, Rodgers said, per The Guardian's Andy Hunter:
The club did everything they felt they possibly could to get a deal but it wasn't to be.
It was deemed in this case that we couldn't do a deal and Chelsea could. So the boy has gone there.
That's something that is out of my control. We can identify the players that we want to bring in and we hope we can get them in. If we can the club will do everything possible to match the value of the player. If they end up going to another club that is difficult to take. But you can't worry about it, you've just got to keep looking forward.
You could understand why a player might choose Chelsea over Liverpool. The pay's probably better, and the Blues are in the thick of the title race and offer a better guarantee of Champions League football next season.
But that doesn't mean that Liverpool can be excused for what has been a lackluster transfer window. The club needs reinforcements, yet none have arrived.
Yevhen Konoplyanka of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk is the next main target for Rodgers and the Reds, per Sky Sports:
Sky Sports sources understand that Liverpool are hopeful of securing the services of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk winger Yevhen Konoplyanka before the end of the January transfer window.
Liverpool have already started negotiations with the Ukrainian club and are confident of completing the signing by Friday.
The club's head of recruitment Dave Fallows is understood to be travelling to Ukraine to hold talks with Konoplyanka.
A winger shouldn't be at the top of the shopping list, but Konoplyanka is a good talent. He could also cut inside to offer support for both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Konoplyanka has put his talents on display during a solid campaign through the Europa League group stage, per WhoScored.com:
Yevheniy Konoplyanka: Only 3 players registered more goals + assists in the Europa League group stages this season than Konoplyanka (5)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 29, 2014
NBC Sports' Robbie Mustoe even went as far as calling the Ukrainian star an Eden Hazard lite version:
Liverpool close to Konoplyanka. Very, very good wide player. Think Eden Hazard, a stretch maybe but could be great for LFC. Don't tell CFC!!— Robbie Mustoe (@robbiemustoe) January 29, 2014
The Reds don't need a radical overhaul, but it would be nice if they could at least add any combination of a defensively minded midfielder, centre-back and/or another goal-scoring threat. All three are holes in the squad and could end up torpedoing any top-four hopes by season's end.
Although there is little time left in the window, and Liverpool have lost out on their No. 1 target, they need to strengthen this January and capitalize on the struggles of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
Spurs have looked a little better under Tim Sherwood, but their defense is still a major weakness, and Sherwood's lack of tactical naivety can cause the club to be undone against tough opposition (see Spurs' 2-0 loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup and their 5-1 loss to Manchester City).
Although United have improved following the purchase of Juan Mata, it's still far from a guarantee that they've made themselves radically better.
It hasn't been much easier for Liverpool to jump into the top four since their precipitous drop down the table. The club has to do everything in its power to remain that much better than both United and Spurs, and failing to make any impactful purchases in January is the kind of thing that could mean the difference between fourth and fifth.