Liverpool look completely out of sorts at the moment.
Since the 7-0 annihilation of Crystal Palace before Christmas, the reigning Premier League champions have looked a shadow of the side that romped their way to 99 points last season.
Sure, Jurgen Klopp won't be losing sleep about the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup, but he will be concerned about how far behind the Red Devils he finds himself in the title race.
Liverpool's 2021 struggles
The Merseyside club have now gone four Premier League games without a goal for the first time since 2000, picking up defeats to Southampton and Burnley along the way.
The latter even saw them losing their historic unbeaten run at Anfield, which stretched for more than 1,300 days with Klopp's men unable to respond to Ashley Barnes' late penalty.
As a result, Liverpool fans have been desperately crying out for January signings, particularly to plug their deficiencies at the back after major injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
Need for spending at Anfield
Sadly, it looks unlikely that Liverpool will be splashing the cash over the coming days, but don't be surprised if the events of the 2020/21 campaign prompt them to spend big in the summer.
As a result, we wanted to draw up the Liverpool XI that we believe Klopp will need on his hands to start dominating the Premier League again next season.
It's important to clarify that this isn't us writing off Liverpool's 2020/21 already because, let's face it, they're still title contenders, but even if they do win, they'll hardly be dominating like years gone by.
Liverpool's potential 2021/22 XI
How can they change that? Well, we think the XI that we've constructed down below, complete with three important new signings, could be the solution:
GK: Alisson Becker
Duh. Give or take Manuel Neuer and Jan Oblak, Liverpool's number one is the best goalkeeper in the world and the Reds' struggles this season have nothing to do with his form between the sticks.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Don't get us wrong, Alexander-Arnold has been downright poor at times this season and probably needs some time on the sidelines, but he's undoubtedly the man for Liverpool in the long term.
CB: Virgil van Dijk
Another obvious one. Van Dijk has been a massive loss to Liverpool in recent months and it's hard to imagine them struggling so spectacularly if they still had the world's best defender available.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly
If you think that I'm pedaling the most tired Premier League transfer rumour of all time here, then hang fire, because in an ideal world I'd be putting Dayot Upamecano's name forward.
However, with the French international looking increasingly likely to move to Bayern Munich, the next best world-class option hails from a Napoli side who wanted to flog Koulibaly last year.
As long as Aurelio De Laurentiis doesn't drive an incredibly tough deal, Liverpool could do much worse than shoring up their defence with one of the continent's best for the next few years.
LB: Andrew Robertson
It's not for no reason that many Liverpool fans are viewing Robertson as their best player this season, always giving 100% to the cause regardless of whether the Reds are winning or losing.
The other contender for Liverpool's MVP recently is Fabinho. Although his displays in defence have been truly admirable, Kopites will be desperate to see him playing in his favoured position again.
CM: Rodrigo de Paul
It feels like the report on Georginio Wijnaldum's future change on a weekly basis, but with the pendulum currently swinging towards an Anfield exit, then the Reds must look for a replacement.
We toyed with the idea of Renato Sanches, Florian Neuhaus and even Yves Bissouma, but we think that Udinese's Rodrigo de Paul fits the description of the 'Wijnaldum role' most seamlessly of all.
Rated as Serie A's second-best midfielder with at least 10 appearances this season, the Argentine is an energetic presence both in defence and attack, notching five Man of the Match awards.
Yes, there are rumours of an Inter Milan move and yes, Leeds United failed to secure a deal last summer, but that doesn't mean Liverpool shouldn't try their upmost to sign the man who fits the Wijnaldum bill the best.
CM: Thiago Alcantara
Yes, there are very fair questions to be asked about Thiago's suitability at Anfield, but we're talking about one of the world's best midfielders here, so you'd be mad to bet against him coming good.
RW: Mohamed Salah
The Reds would be in a very bad way if it wasn't for Salah's goals this season, currently leading the race for the Premier League Golden Boot, so it makes no sense to eject him from the starting XI.
CF: Paulo Dybala
It's becoming clear that Roberto Firmino isn't producing the sort of goals you'd expect from a Reds number nine nor the world-class hold-up play that has often excused his shyness in front of goal.
And while, yes, we'd love to throw Erling Braut Haaland's name into the hat, realism is the aim of the game here and Dybala's reduced game time under Andrea Pirlo has raised hopes of a 2021 exit.
Fresh from being crowned the Serie A MVP, Dybala's alloyed offering of goals and assists makes him an effortless fit for the 'Firmino role', using his dynamism to bring Salah and Sadio Mane into the game.
LW: Sadio Mane
We haven't seen the best of Mane during the 2020/21 campaign, there's no getting away from it, but there's good reason to think that a shake-up could return him to his status as one of the world's best.
Full starting XI
Change needed at Anfield
Would all these signings be possible? It's impossible to say for certain at this stage and Liverpool fans will know better than most that the financial situation at Anfield can be soap opera all to itself.
However, whether or not you approve of our specific transfer targets, I think we can all agree that the Reds need investment in their defence and potential replacements further up the pitch.
That being said, there's still plenty of time for Liverpool to win the league this season and their poor form could be nothing more than a blip, but the days of Klopp dominating look to have ended.
Therefore, if Liverpool want to leave Manchester City in their dust and flirt with 100 points again, then FSG will need to loosen their pursestrings in the summer.News Now - Sport News