Liverpool should be weighing up a future approach for Jadon Sancho, says Paul Ince, but a new striker is considered to be Jurgen Klopp’s top priority for the January window.
The Reds are expected to recruit over the winter, with their manager having left the door open for possible additions.
It is unlikely that an England international currently starring for Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund will figure on that wish list.
Sancho, though, may be targeted by Premier League sides in the future and Liverpool have been urged to ensure that they are in the mix whenever that day comes.
Former Reds midfielder Ince told Express Sport of the talented teenager: “I think when you look at Sancho, let’s not go overboard. He’s only 18.
“We don’t want to make these players better than what they are the moment, they’re still only young and have a long way to go.
“We as a nation have a tendency to build people up from such a young age and then knock them back down.
“I feel with Sancho, the boy’s done well and he’s been brave to make that decision to go and play in Germany.
"He needs to keep playing games until he’s 19 or 20.
“Then maybe Liverpool should start looking at him. And not just him, there’s other kids out there [in Germany] doing well.”
With Sancho an option to pursue at a later date, Ince believes Liverpool should be looking for added firepower in the coming weeks.
The Reds boast plenty of goal threat at present, but cover is considered to be required for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
On what Klopp should be trying to bring in, Ince said: “I feel maybe he needs another striker, I really do.
“It’s always hard to get the best players in January. The best don’t really want to leave then.
“But you’ve got to say if Salah got injured who’s necessarily going to replace him?
“Sturridge flits in and out and hasn’t really done it.
“I think as a manager you’re always looking to improve the team.
“And I think if they are up there - and they will be up there - like City and like United they’ll be looking to bring in some extra faces to improve the team.
“It’s exciting. Everyone thought City would run away with it but Liverpool are right there.”
Klopp’s side top the table at present and, having gone unbeaten through 18 games, are currently four points clear of reigning champions Manchester City heading into a busy Boxing Day.