We’ve achieved great things so far this season, and all with little backup for the front-three. When you look at Manchester City’s second-string team they’ve got a starting XI that could compete for the title in its own right!
The issue we have right now is the relative gulf in class between our starting attacking options and those deputising for them.
Put it this way; our famed front three have played nearly every game together so far – Sadio Mané has made 35 appearances in total, Roberto Firmino, 36, and Mohamed Salah, 38.
The drop-off from that lethal triumvirate to Divock Origi (who, to be fair to the lad, has popped up with some decent performances) or Daniel Sturridge (who hasn’t scored since that Chelsea worldy in September) is stark.
Klopp: “You think it’s Playstation… bring on another attacker…”
“Football doesn’t work like that… 9 games to go…”
Worth a watch ⬇ pic.twitter.com/slDDkKXxEe
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) 3 March 2019
With Danny Ings shipped off to Southampton, plus the handsome fee we got for Dom Solanke, we’re really lacking in high-quality striking options. Yes, there might be there the prospects of Rhian Brewster and Taiwo Awoniyi, but both are untested at the highest-level.
The philosophy of our youth set-up means that squad players are likely to be promoted internally through Alex Inglethorpe; the big money moves for Alisson and Virgil van Dijk represent the future of our transfer plans now.
So then, what type of striker should we be after? Certainly not a target man (sorry, Andy Carroll), nor simply a like-for-like replacement, quality-wise, for what we already have.
We need to sign a potentially world-class centre-forward who would tolerate playing second-fiddle to Firmino; someone mobile, tactically-aware, with pace for days, who is unselfish, unerring in shot, and able to rush on the counter.
Can’t be that hard, surely?
If this comes off, we might have Luis Suárez to thank for it. His Uruguayan compatriot, Maxi Gómez, is banging them in for Celta Vigo in La Liga.
The 22-year-old notched an impressive 17 goals for the Galician club last term, playing alongside another former Liverpool striker, Iago Aspas (we all remember how that turned out).
This season, Gomez has got himself an equally respectable nine goals and five assists in 23 league appearances. £35 million should be enough to bring him to Anfield, and beat the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham to his signature.
A name seemingly on the lips of every Liverpool fan, RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner would certainly fit the bill for the type of striker we’re need. But, would he settle for the bench when he’s playing week-in-week-out in the Bundesliga? Would the noise of a Kop baying for blood be too much for his ears?
Either way, there’s no ignoring his numbers: 13 goals and three assists this season is a decent return for a Leipzig team that have often struggled for form. Not to mention the fact that he’s scored 20+ goals in his past two seasons at Leipzig.
At 22 years-old, Werner could be a successful, long-term feature at Anfield as long as we can keep Bayern Munich away from him.
A slightly more outrageous option, but still more than feasible considering our growing prestige and rightful return to the European stage. Elegant, agile, and versatile – Paulo Dybala is unlike anything we have at present, because he can play in virtually any offensive position.
Speaking of outrageous, there is absolutely no conceivable way anyone at Liverpool would sanction a swap plus cash deal involving Mo Salah and Paulo Dybala. Let’s just consign that rumour to the fire, shall we?
There were fears the young Argentinian would be upstaged at Juventus by the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, which is only half true. He’s still managed nine goals and six assists, including netting five in six Champions League appearances.
Sometimes good things do come in small packages, and Lorenzo Insigne is no exception to that rule. A player we’re probably even more familiar with now after the Champions League group stage, the 27-year-old Napoli forward was linked with us in February.
Pacy, deadly, and unpredictable, the diminutive Italian is prolific and experienced. Able to play out wide on the left, as well as down the middle, Insigne would also finally offer competitive cover for Mané on the wing.
When we “apparently” made a £61 million offer for him, we were kindly told to double it. If we want player of Insigne’s ilk, we’ll have to fork out for it. Maybe some quarters of Italy are still upset about the less than princely sum we paid for the King of Egypt?