Eddie Jones, England Rugby’s head coach, has tried to change the way replacements are perceived to some degree of success by renaming them ‘finishers.’ Applying that to Liverpool players though – whether they start or on the bench – might take longer to stick given their problems in front of goal.
For all the pretty football played, this season will be best remembered as one of missed opportunities – both literally and metaphorically. While Brendon Rogers’ side could rely on Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez – the closest the Reds have ever got to Blackburn’s old SAS goal-scoring double act of Christ Sutton and Alan Shearer – Jurgen Klopp’s squad couldn’t finish off a sandwich.
Reds fans have been used to great strikers over the years. There were none better than Ian Rush although John Arlidge pushed him a close second in his pomp, and the Kop faithful are crying out for another goal poacher of the highest order.
Klopp and the world knows that he needs to boost his goal-scoring options over the summer and is expected to make a big-money summer swoop. Benfica ace Raul Jimenez was mentioned around the turn of the year as one of the Reds’ principal targets, but the £22 million-rated Mexican has failed to find the back of the net in his last seven appearances and only had six goals from 20 appearances all told.
Liverpool won’t be short of options that’s for sure, but whether they’d want to sign Manchester United reject Javier Hernandez is debatable. Hernandez, now at Bayer Leverkusen, has been mentioned as a possible target, as has Alexis Sanchez. But, then again, who hasn’t Arsenal’s chief striker not been linked with?
Another player who won’t come cheap if Liverpool decide to make a move is Alexandre Lacazette, the £35 million-rated Lyon front man. Odds at the start of the month were around 1/6 for the Anfield move making free bets, such as this £10 promotion at Enhanced Bets, a tempting offer for punters wishing to play their hand early.
Should Klopp decide to go down the Italian route instead, it’s likely that the names Mauro Icardi and Andrea Belotti will be players under consideration. Both have been strongly linked with a move to Anfield before and would bring some much-needed physicality to Liverpool’s front line. Icardi is a real firebrand of a player who likes to put himself about, while Torino’s Belotti is good in the air and can hold the ball up well.
Both, of course, are fine practioners when it comes to the art of goal-scoring. Icardi is in a real purple patch of form having hit five goals in the last four games, to take his overall tally to 22 from 34, while Belotti has bagged himself two hat-tricks in a season that has seen him net an incredible 27 goals from 33 appearances.