Roberto Firmino’s struggles in front of goal should be leading Liverpool back into the transfer market for another striker, claims John Aldridge, with the former Reds forward of the opinion that Timo Werner should have been targeted.
Jurgen Klopp was heavily linked with the Germany international heading into the latest window, but he ended up moving to English football at Chelsea.
Premier League champions Liverpool are yet to bolster their attacking ranks, with Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas the only player to have been added to Klopp’s side since a first top-flight crown in 30 years was wrapped up.
Aldridge believes more firepower is required at Anfield, with Firmino – who has hit just one league goal at Anfield in 18 months – needing “someone breathing down his neck” in order to rediscover a missing spark.
“Bobby Firmino still seems to have the shackles around him a little bit,” former Reds frontman Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo after witnessing another goalless showing from the Brazilian against Leeds.
“He got involved in midfield and showed some nice touches but, again, in the box at Anfield it wasn't happening for him.
“He missed a good chance second half after a great link up with his strike partners and obviously we all remember how it took him until the final home game of last season to score a league goal at Anfield.
“I don't know if that's still playing on his mind because he didn't look himself in the box.
“There's been a lot said about Liverpool's stance in the transfer market this summer but I can't help but feel it might do Bobby some good if he did have someone breathing down his neck for his place so he knows he's got to score goals.
“Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of his and he does some great things for the front three which often goes unnoticed but if you're a number nine, you have to score goals.
“That's the bottom line and he knows that. He's not been doing that at Anfield for the last year or so and it needs to change.
“I understand the club's general position on transfers this summer but it is a bit of a gamble in a couple of positions because we've been relatively lucky with injuries the last couple of seasons but you can't always bank on that.
“Transfers themselves are also something of a gamble for Liverpool as it's hard to improve on what we've got and also convince players to sign who know they probably won't be first choice. But I still think we could do with another goalscorer.
“In an ideal world, the fans would have loved to have seen us get Timo Werner or someone of that ilk but it wasn't possible.
“Freshening the squad up, even if it's just one player, keeps everyone on their toes and adds to the competition for places.”
Liverpool are continuing to weigh up their options in the transfer market, but few forwards are seeing moves to Merseyside mooted as Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara remains the Reds’ top target.