John Aldridge’s comments highlight one thing Liverpool must target in the summer – opinion

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Despite Liverpool’s abundance of riches in the forward line, John Aldridge has highlighted the lopsided nature of Jurgen Klopp’s attacking options.

Luis Diaz’s impending return from injury will leave the Reds manager with him, Mo Salah, Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Bobby Firmino to call upon, although the latter is leaving Anfield in the summer.

It’s a sextet of attackers which must be the envy of most managers in the Premier League and maybe even Europe, although one of the club’s previous forwards has identified a potential issue.

In his latest column for the Liverpool Echo, Aldridge wrote: “We’ve got four players who can play at centre-forward: Gakpo, Firmino, Nunez and Jota. We’ve got three players who can play on the left, Nunez, Jota and Diaz, and not one of them has been tried on the right.

“That doesn’t make sense to me. Mo is Mo, but you should be able to take him out of the team when he is not playing well – which we don’t.

“Even if he is injured or suspended, who is going to go on the right side? We haven’t seen anyone fill in there. We have plenty of options, but who is going to take his place if and when that happens?”

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Aldridge raises some valid concerns regarding the imbalanced nature of Liverpool’s current attacking crop.

Transfermarkt currently lists Diaz, Gakpo and Jota as our main options on the left, with Nunez and Firmino as our centre-forwards. The Uruguayan is also cited as a left-sided alternative, with Gakpo, Jota and Salah as possibilities in the number nine role.

However, the Egyptian is listed as our only natural right winger, with Gakpo and Harvey Elliott (primarily an attacking midfielder) as the viable alternatives in that position.

Aldridge has also made a good point regarding Salah’s continual selection, with the 30-year-old the only outfield player to start every league game for Liverpool so far this term (WhoScored).

Indeed, he’s started 30 or more top-flight matches in all five of his full seasons at Anfield (WhoScored). While that’s a testament to his consistently brilliant form and propensity to avoid injury, it also highlights that Klopp seems to have less wiggle room when it comes to the right-hand side of the Reds’ attack.

Therefore, the club’s powerbrokers must look at that as a sign of needing to bolster the squad accordingly, even if the addition of one or more midfielders is set to be the priority this summer.

Despite being questioned of late, Salah continues to be a reliable presence for Liverpool in the final third, leading the way with 22 goals this season and scoring 23 or more in all of his previous campaigns with us (Transfermarkt).

With that in mind, any prospective right-sided additions may need to be initially content with a backup or rotation role.

However, Jota is a prime example of a forward who succeeded in the unenviable task of breaking up an established Reds front three with an excellent first two seasons at the club in which he scored 34 times (Transfermarkt).

Two current reported transfer targets – Randall Kolo Muani and Mason Mount – have played on the right wing on occasion, although neither the Frenchman nor the Chelsea ace have that as their primary role.

FBref has cited the likes of Marco Asensio and Moussa Diaby as comparable players to Salah, with the former having been linked with Liverpool in recent weeks.

Both are natural right wingers, and the Spaniard could possibly be tempted into a new challenge after several years at Real Madrid, where he’s struggled for starts this season (Transfermarkt).

The Leverkusen winger could also be worth considering, having fired in a respectable tally of 12 goals for Xabi Alonso’s team during the current campaign (Transfermarkt).

Much of the transfer talk regarding Liverpool might focus on the midfield, and with good reason, but Aldridge has rightly highlighted the comparative lack of resource on the right-hand side of attack.

It’s a position that FSG should be targeting in the summer, particularly with Salah turning 31 in June.

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