Joseph Kavaloski believes Jürgen Klopp must sign a new striker this summer to deal with the extra football that playing in the Champions League will bring.
Heading into the summer transfer window, it was generally accepted that the Reds were probably not going to focus on adding to their group of strikers.
Roberto Firmino had a stellar second season as a Red, Daniel Sturridge showed flashes of his immense talent towards the end of the year, and Divock Origi is still a budding young talent with immense potential.
Combined with the return of Danny Ings from his brutal injury and the arrival of the promising Dominic Solanke, it appears as though Liverpool are well stocked in the no.9 position.
However, rumours have emerged that Jürgen Klopp could be targeting Atletico Madrid striker Angel Correa.
Although it may seem as though the Reds have plenty in the striking department, the picture may not be as perfect as it looks. With upwards of 60 matches on the fixture list in 2017/18, squad rotation will certainly be needed.
Additionally, only the early round cup matches will be situations where Klopp can play his “second team.”
The Champions League is an excellent opportunity for the Reds, but it is also going to be a significant challenge. Competing against the best clubs on the continent will require Liverpool to have a deep squad of players that are ready to go toe to toe with various European heavyweights.
Firmino is a strong first choice in the central striker role and Sturridge is a more than adequate backup. Solanke, Origi, and Ings also have the requisite quality to come in off the bench and start in cup matches. The biggest issue with this group is the reliability of Daniel Sturridge.
In theory, it is perfect if the Reds can simply rotate Firmino out in favour of Sturridge when the Brazilian needs extra recovery time. However, relying on Sturridge to consistently stay fit may not be the best strategy.
The Englishman has tremendous talent and played a big role down the stretch last season, but throughout the past three seasons, he has burned the Reds for relying on him as a key member of the squad.
If Klopp chooses to do so once again, Sturridge’s injury issues may come back to haunt the Reds for yet another season.
If Sturridge is predictably unreliable in terms of his fitness, one of Solanke, Origi or Ings would be forced into a prominent role as the backup to Firmino.
Origi should be ready for high-pressure, significant game action this season, but he was uninspiring last season and the Reds do not have the ability to let him slowly find himself over the course of the year.
As a result, adding a player like Correa could do the Reds a lot of good this next season and going forward. In the short term, it would add another quality striker to the Liverpool squad, preventing Klopp from having to over rely on Firmino in the number nine role.
The Brazilian really wore down towards the end of last season and with the number of fixtures on Liverpool’s schedule, Klopp could easily see injury problems in his talented striker by midseason.
The addition of another quality striker to rotate with Firmino and Sturridge would really help shore up any remaining depth issues in attack.
With Atletico in the middle of a transfer ban that runs through the January window, Correa may not end up being the striker to come to Anfield.
The rumoured contract numbers on offer for the Argentinian are mouthwatering (£12 million over five years) but it would be surprising to see the Madrid club let go of one of its most talented young players in a time where their depth cannot be replenished.
Klopp may decide to stand pat if Correa is not allowed to leave Atletico, but the German would be wise to continue pursuing potential depth options for the number nine role.
Firmino is fantastic, but Sturridge is unreliable and the remaining three options would not be optimal starters in a Champions League match. Hopefully, Klopp addresses this area over the next month and a half.