Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher has said that the Reds’ offensive weakness without Mohamed Salah is worrying.
The Egypt international missed Sunday’s derby encounter against Everton, left on the bench after recent hip problems, and without him the Premier League champions elect struggled to create opportunities against their Stanley Park rivals.
Although the Anfield side dominated the game, they were unable to create any clear opportunities and the last 10 minutes were controlled by their hosts, who went closest when Tom Davies hit the post, leaving manager Jurgen Klopp to reflect that his side were a little “lucky”.
The German also pointed out a lack of offensive efficiency in his side, and Carragher says that is a worrying trend when one of their regular front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino is absent.
“The front three are as good as anyone in Europe but whenever one of them is out, there is a massive drop off,” he told Sky Sports.
“When Liverpool dropped points at Manchester United, Salah wasn’t playing. That’s why Liverpool need to strengthen the front three. Divock Origi is a legend for Liverpool as he’s scored big goals at big moments but doesn’t have quite the quality.
“Is Takumi Minamino part of the front three? Not for me. The front three are very robust and don’t miss many games but if Liverpool were to lose one of them, especially the two wide players, for a lengthy amount of time they could have a real problem next season.”
Carragher’s warning is a timely one as it comes in the wake of Chelsea completing a big-money move for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who is a player Liverpool were long credited with having an interest in.
While Salah, Mane and Firmino have contributed a combined 49 goals this season, the rest of the squad have only that number between them, while they were also without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in their ranks on Sunday, their next leading marksman with seven goals in all competitions.
Meanwhile, in terms of Premier League goals, centre-back Virgil van Dijk is next on the list behind the front three, having contributed four times this term.