Which alternatives does Klopp have to buying a player to cover for Sadio Mane?

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Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield on November 6, 2016 in Liverpool, England.
All rights reserved by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Dave Davis addresses the growing concern that buying a new player in January might not be the best plan of action.

On current form, there’s no better forward three in the league than Coutinho, Firmino and Mane. The Brazilian duo have provided the flair, creativity and trickery whilst it’s the Senegalese attacker who has injected real pace into the Reds’ lineup. All three have given us goals, but there’s a small problem looming in early 2017. With Mane heading to AFCON, Jurgen Klopp has a decision to make, yet no-one’s even concerned he won’t find the right solution.

The first option for many seems to be an instant recall to the starting line-up for Daniel Sturridge. The England striker can’t be happy to have been the first choice reserve so far and in the long-term the situation may change. Recently, though, Sturridge has shown he’s in-form when he’s played as a double against Spurs and strike against Scotland clearly demonstrate. Against Watford, the 28-year-old did everything but score and on another day could have had a hat-trick. Shifting Firmino to the wing and maintaining that interchangeability seems to be a natural option.

Divock Origi may have something to say about it, though. If you go back seven months, the Belgian forward seemed to be the first name on the team sheet yet currently appears to be Liverpool’s third choice forward. The key factors that play in his favour are his strength and more importantly, he has the pace and ability to press that Sturridge may not. Klopp has shown in the past he’s more than happy to give regular game time to Origi ahead of Sturridge too. Origi could even start from the left or interchange with the Brazilians, which only adds to his case.

The other option which seems to have been ignored is that we may already have a pacy winger in our midst. It seems a lifetime ago that Sheyi Ojo showed his potential at the end of the last campaign and a knock in pre-season has staggered his development. Whilst Flanagan, Ward et al were sent out on loan and Ibe sold, there was a reason the former MK Dons starlet was kept. Ojo has pace, the ability to beat a man and with a number of assists and a goal in a short spell last season could be a serious option. Definitely the outsider, but not to be counted out.

There may well even be a move for a Pulisic or another attacker in the January window to keep everyone on their toes. Either way, the man who knew Milner was a left back, Henderson could play no 6. and that Firmino is our best striker has tobe backed to get it right. It would be a brave man that went the other way.

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