Second placed Premier League club Liverpool coped well without Luis Suarez during his 10 match disciplinary ban. England striker Daniel Sturridge stepped up to the plate with consistent goals, usually created by Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard.
When Coutinho was injured for six weeks, Suarez returned to establish the Premier League's most feared strike-force. Now, as a trio with fit-again Coutinho Liverpool have the potential to increase their goal count, as witnessed in their 4-0 demolition of Fulham before the international break.
McAteer believes the club cannot maintain this level for the whole season, due to Sturridge carrying a niggling injury and playing through the pain barrier for most of the campaign.
“There is no doubt that Sturridge is a great player, but if the club wants to win some medals then they must look at getting some players in. I am hoping that he will recover well from his injuries, and that is why I feel that there should be some backup just in case something happens to him,” he said.
Liverpool brought in Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo as back-up in the beginning of the season, but he hadn't impressed in just the few opportunities, and then injury had slowed down his ability to build on his adaption to the Premier League.
As a result Sturridge is having to play more games than he should, right from the beginning of the season, to fill in for Suarez. Now, if one of the front two get injured then Liverpool might have to change their system to a lone striker, or three upfront (with Victor Moses), an alternative option that isn't as formidable as their full strength line-up.
“He (Sturridge) is a great player, but the reality is that he needs support (other than Suarez). I feel that Liverpool needs to beef up their midfield and striking department,” said McAteer.
The former Republic of Ireland international's idea of support also includes creators in the midfield, in a team that currently relies too much on Coutinho in attacking midfield, considering that Gerrard plays deeper in central midfield these days.
Manager Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to receive funds to strengthen the attack during the January Transfer Window, to maintain their charge for a top four Champions League spot, amongst six other teams in contention.
Rodgers had hoped to bring in attacking Brazilian midfielder Willian in August, but the player eventually chose to sign for Chelsea who then loaned Moses to Liverpool. Rodgers will hope the funds are still available to invest in the creative department.
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