Liverpool: Are front three rediscovering form?
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Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has claimed that his former employers should look to land a prolific centre forward in the summer transfer window, suggesting that Roberto Firmino is not a true striker while Divock Origi is ‘nowhere near good enough’. The Reds have struggled in front of goal at times this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side mostly reliant on wingers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to provide the goods up top in recent weeks.
Liverpool completed the signing of versatile forward Diogo Jota from Wolves during the summer, but the Portugal international has been sidelined since December with a troublesome knee injury, adding to Klopp’s extensive list of unavailable senior players.
This has led to Firmino featuring in every single Premier League game for the Reds this season, but the 29-year-old has failed to match the prolific form of team-mates Salah and Mane, claiming just six goals in 24 appearances.
Carragher, who made a whopping 737 appearances for Liverpool during his professional career, has revealed his desire for Klopp to seek additional reinforcements in order to mount a sustained title challenge next season.
The former defender told Sky Sports’ Super 6 podcast that a regular, out-and-out goalscorer would alleviate some of the attacking burden from Liverpool’s wingers and provide different options going forward.
“Liverpool definitely need to bring a goalscorer in,” said Carragher. “I don’t know exactly what position for, whether that’s a centre-forward or a midfielder.
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“At the moment they are massively reliant on Salah and Mane, nobody else looks like they’re going to score. Jota has been a miss, but whether Jota would ever be first choice in a Liverpool team – I’m not sure yet. He made a great start when he came in.
“I think they need to add goals to the team, whether that’s a midfield player who can score goals because it looks like Wijnaldum is going to move on, or it’s a case of doing something different through the middle.”
Turning his attention towards Firmino and Origi, Carragher suggested that neither player meets the criteria of a top-level Premier League striker.
Although the former is certainly a huge influence for Liverpool in helping to shape attacks, Carragher claimed that he is not prolific enough to be considered as a number nine.
However, the 43-year-old did not mince his words when addressing Origi, stressing that the Belgium star is not at the required standard to play for Liverpool and even hinting that Klopp’s preference to deploy him out wide is a result of his inability to perform as a central striker.
Origi has played just 178 minutes of Premier League football this season without making any tangible contributions.
“You look at Bobby Firmino and Liverpool’s attacking players, they don’t actually have a striker,” added Carragher. “Jota is not a striker, same with Mane, same with Salah.
“They have Divock Origi but he’s nowhere near good enough. And he a lot of the time plays out wide, because he can’t play as a centre-forward.
“So Firmino plays that role, but we always talk about him being a ‘false nine’, he’s not actually an out-and-out striker.
“I think Liverpool could do with bringing a striker in, just to shake things up and primarily someone who gets goals. I think there’s too much pressure on those two players at the top of the pitch to score goals.
“If they don’t score, Liverpool don’t look like scoring.”
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