Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Reds player ratings
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Liverpool have a wildcard free agent option to potentially help Jurgen Klopp navigate the imminent issues caused by the African Cup of Nations. The Reds could bring a former Kop hero back to Anfield on a short-term basis to boost Klopp’s attacking numbers in January.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are expected to represent Senegal and Egypt, respectively, in the AFCON at the start of 2022.
Given they are mainstays in Klopp’s attack, supporters are unsurprisingly worried about the effect their mid-season absences will have.
With Mane and Salah away, Liverpool will have just four senior attacking options in a crucial section of the campaign.
Three of Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi would likely make up the attack – not exactly Premier League-winning firepower.
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If the quartet are even slightly hit by injury or COVID-19-related issues, Liverpool would have a borderline crisis.
But there is a player interestingly available who the Reds could take a chance on to bolster Klopp’s attacking depth.
Could Klopp pull the trigger on an emergency loan move for Daniel Sturridge?
Following a breach of betting rules, Sturridge has been without a club since leaving Trabzonspor in March 2020.
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He could make a fairytale return to Anfield to provide back-up for Klopp’s diminished attack in the new year.
The 32-year-old scored 62 goals in 94 starts for Liverpool across seven seasons, winning a Champions League medal before his exit in 2019.
In his prime on Merseyside, he formed a notorious partnership with Luis Suarez, netting 22 goals to almost guide Liverpool to their first Premier League title in the 2013/14 season.
Before his sudden departure, Sturridge scored four goals in 11 league games for Trabzonspor and is currently in his 18th month as a free agent.
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Don’t get it twisted, Sturridge wouldn’t be joining Liverpool on a long-term contract to compete with Salah and Mane in Klopp’s preferred attack.
But it could be a wise move from the club to bring him back temporarily to help provide cover whilst the African duo are away in January.
He clearly still loves the clubs, and fans are appreciative of his contributions in the past, so it would likely be welcomed as a short-term emergency loan.
His return must be considered as extremely unlikely, but the option is there is Klopp is in dire need of numbers come 2022.
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