The need to bolster the Liverpool spine in the summer has emerged as a familiar feature to any transfer talk surrounding the club.
Key injuries and Sadio Mane’s African Cup of Nations absence hurt Liverpool following the turn of the year and exposed a lack of strength in depth that didn’t appear to be a serious issue at the beginning of the season.
The loss of influential players seemingly triggered a slump in form from every member of the squad and fuelled calls for a busy summer in terms of recruitment.
Writing for Sky Sports, pundit Paul Merson outlined the areas he feels the Reds must address, saying: “Liverpool need to buy four or five new players. They need a full-back, they need a centre half, they need a central-midfield player and they need a centre-forward and potentially a goalkeeper. They need to buy a new spine of the team and that’s hard to get. It usually takes years to build a solid spine to any team.”
Strengthening every position in the squad would be no disrespect to the team’s current starters but instead a wise attempt to increase competition for places.
One or two proven world class players or as close to this standard as possible appears a necessity in terms of competing with both the Premier League’s and Europe’s elite teams.
We need a selection of players capable of bringing leadership and the ability to take responsibility and dictate the outcome of some games single-handedly. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all capable of doing just that but we need to see it from players in other areas of the pitch as well.