Liverpool are very possibly on the hunt for a new forward but they must find two traits in any new signing.
Jurgen Klopp recently labelled the decision to move the Africa Cup of Nations back to January a ‘catastrophe’ for Liverpool. And it probably was.
Liverpool now know that they’ll lack Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in a year. They may also be without Naby Keita and possibly Joel Matip. In short, they have a real problem.
They do have a chance to correct things, though. In fact, their decision to sign no one for the senior side last summer now looks like a stroke of good fortune.
Liverpool can now look to make a forward signing but any potential arrival will need to meet two criteria.
Cover for the stars
This is the immediate worry. If Salah and Mane are in Africa next January, Liverpool will have to find someone to score the goals. They’re the two top scorers this season and thus the team will miss them badly.
Even once they’re back, there’s a very good chance they’ll both be too tired to excel for the rest of the campaign. So any new arrival simply must offer immediate goals.
Liverpool can’t consider a creative player or an out-and-out winger. Goals are priority one.
The next Liverpool era
This is an interesting one. Fact is, if Liverpool are looking for someone who can score goals at the top level already, they’re paying a premium.
And if they’re paying a premium, they’ve got to have more than just January – May 2021 in mind. But it just so happens that Liverpool need to start thinking about the next era.
By January 2021, Salah and Mane will both be 28. Firmino will be 29. Given their very energetic playing styles, they won’t have too much longer at the top.
So the big new signings have to be at an age to take over. That means Liverpool are looking for a very talented player who is under 24, really.
So who fits the bill?
We believe that RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner is pretty much the perfect answer for Liverpool. But there are others that you can all name who would be ideal for the club, be it Jadon Sancho or the ultimate fantasy – Kylian Mbappe.
The task for the Reds is to find who is a truly viable option and go all out this summer.