Liverpool have been linked with a long list of strikers in recent weeks.
The Reds have really struggled in front of goal this season.
Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in particular have endured some torrid form recently.
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Even Diogo Jota – signed to begin the move away from the original front three – has dipped after his electric start and promising return from injury.
With Divock Origi likely to leave, Liverpool should probably try to sign a new No 9 to provide competition to Mane, Firmino, Jota and Mohamed Salah.
Rather than an inverted winger, Jurgen Klopp’s side need a clinical presence in the box.
While Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe would be the dream, both will be near-impossible to sign this summer.
RTK will profile some of the next best options that Liverpool could go for.
First up, we have a player that has been very strongly linked to the Reds in the last few days.
PSV’s Donyell Malen could well be the best option for this position.
The 22-year-old scored 11 goals in 14 games in last season’s curtailed Eredivisie campaign. He has followed that up with 17 in 29 (23 of which were starts) this season.
Malen has also added seven assists this campaign, meaning he has almost one goal contribution every 90 minutes.
While players signed from Dutch clubs have been very hit and miss in recent years, Malen has everything it takes to be a big success in England.
In fact, he already has experience in the country having been in Arsenal’s youth academy.
With 3.4 shots, 1.1 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per game, the eight-cap Holland international excels in every attribute needed to be a world-class centre-forward.
For a £25m fee, as reported by Voetball International, Malen could prove to be the ideal signing.
The 21-year-old has been in flying form since the turn of the year, with 13 Serie A goals since January. This has his current league total so far this season at 17.
Vlahovic would be a like-for-like replacement for Divock Origi due to his height and physical prowess.
While Malen can also play on the wing, Vlahovic is certainly more comfortable through the middle.
The Serb has a high xG of 15.3, meaning that this is not just a lucky run of form. He truly is excellent and getting into goal-scoring positions and taking his chances.
He is a different type of striker than Jurgen Klopp has used throughout his career but should be one of the best in his position for the next number of years.
The final player that we will profile in detail is Red Bull Salzburg’s Patson Daka.
The Red Bull Group have possibly the best talent identification set-up in the world. They are simply superb at plucking young players from obscure locations and helping them develop into world-class players.
Liverpool fans need only look at Sadio Mane for evidence, while Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino are other Red Bull Salzburg products.
The Austrian side have produced two fantastic young strikers in the last few years – Haaland himself and now Patson Daka.
The Zambian has scored 24 goals in 24 games (just 18 starts) in the Austrian Bundesliga this season. He scored 24 in 31 in 2019/20.
Oh yes, he only turned 22 in October.
It is only a matter of time before he takes this incredible goal-scoring record to a top European team.
Knowing Liverpool’s fondness for Red Bull products, it is easy to see him at Anfield at some stage soon.
Many other young strikers out there
Aside from the three talents above, there are quite a few young striking options throughout Europe.
Alexander Isak has been in flying form for Real Sociedad this season. He has 14 La Liga goals with an xG of 13.6. The 21-year-old is already a lethal finisher and is only getting better.
Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri has been banging in the goals in Spain too but has been quite fortunate to have scored as many as he has. The Moroccan needs to prove himself for another season.
Closer to home one interesting, if unrealistic, option would be Tammy Abraham. Somehow, many fans do not rate the Chelsea man as highly as they should.
Abraham does not seem to be fancied by Thomas Tuchel either. If Liverpool could get him on the cheap, he could be an excellent signing, following in the footsteps of Daniel Sturridge.
Ligue 1 has developed a good reputation for producing talent in recent years. 21-year-old Terem Moffi has scored 14 goals for Lorient this season and may be the next big thing to come out of Nigeria.
Back in Holland, Myron Boadu looks likely to battle Malen for the Oranje No 9 shirt for years to come. He could be a cheaper alternative to the PSV man.
If Liverpool decide to look at players that are not out-and-out centre-forwards, Amine Gouiri (Nice), Jonathan David (Lille) and Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach) could all be worth a look.
All three have featured both up front and on the wings but may find a long-term home as strikers.
Finally, Liverpool may decide to look at some of the smaller leagues in Europe for some hidden gems.
Darwin Nunez is gaining a large following at Benfica. He has not yet proved to be incredibly prolific but has lots of time to develop.
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard will be known to many in the UK, while 18-year-old Adam Hlozek has eight goals and seven assists for Sparta Prague in 14 games in the Czech top tier this season.
There are lots of exciting young strikers out there. Liverpool just need to find the right one.