Liverpool will need to take a page out of Dortmund’s book, buying in bulk to replace their star striker. The Bundesliga side have invested in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adrian Ramos, Ciro Immobile, and Ji Dong-Won over the period of two summers in attempting to replace Robert Lewandowski. Liverpool, similarly, will be wise to spread Luis Suarez’s imminent transfer fee over a host of names, with one player able to provide similar numbers unlikely to be available.
Liverpool must always be cautious about where they spend their money, now finding themselves in a similar position to Tottenham last summer, who blew the income generated from Gareth Bale’s sale to Real Madrid on duds, for the most part.
Brendan Rodgers has already shown he can pick up low-cost, high-reward players from both England and the continent, and similar methods will need to be used this time around, at least in filling out the squad and ensuring there is quality in depth.
When Suarez’s transfer to Barcelona is confirmed, these are six players who could help to replace the Uruguayan’s goals and influence at Anfield.
The only drawback to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is his age. Other than that, the 30-year-old still stands as one of Europe’s absolute best finishers.
He’s struggled for minutes with the Netherlands in recent tournaments, only seeing game time at this World Cup with a late but highly effective cameo against Mexico. But for his club side Schalke, Huntelaar has been in devastating form since making the switch from AC Milan to the Bundesliga.
He’d be a short-term addition, but Huntelaar is a sure thing when it comes to scoring goals. The right environment will see him replicate the astonishing numbers he’s put up for Schalke in recent seasons.
After all the events of the January window, with Liverpool said to have been on the verge of signing Yevhen Konoplyanka, the Ukrainian international still looks no closer to joining a Premier League side.
But this is the kind of player Liverpool need, far more than Adam Lallana, who can play on the wing but doesn’t carry the same threat in front of goal.
Konoplyanka was said to be available for around £20 million in January, and with Liverpool’s budget to be boosted with the sale of Suarez to Barcelona, the club should have the means to finally tie up a deal for the Dnipro winger.
Lorenzo Insigne has had a very good season with Napoli since being offered a regular place in the team under Rafa Benitez. The diminutive forward, often used from the left of the attack, regularly looked to be Napoli’s most dangerous attacker. In the Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina, he scored a fantastic brace, exhibiting both his pace and finishing ability.
The Italian international was said to be a target for Arsenal earlier in the summer, and it’s easy to see why. But Liverpool could equally do with the services of Insigne. Napoli have already announced their intention to keep the forward, but Liverpool are backed by plenty of cash and should be able to lure the 23-year-old away this summer with the right offer.
Jackson Martinez may be one of the most obvious targets for Liverpool at this time: a natural finisher who has a good scoring record behind him and and who, for the right price, can certainly be had from Porto.
The question is whether Martinez can successfully transfer his goals from the Portuguese Liga to the Premier League. He’s struggled somewhat to convert regularly in European competition.
But if those doubts can be addressed early on, there’s a good chance Liverpool will land one of Europe’s best in front of goal with this signing. Martinez is at the right age to hit the ground running in a different league and already has experience leading his club to silverware. He’s not as good as Suarez, but history suggests he’d be able to cover for a lot of the Uruguayan’s goals in the future.
Mario Balotelli to Arsenal is all but off, and you do have to wonder if it was ever on. But the Italian forward is still said to favour a move back to England, and AC Milan are still said to be in need of a cash boost.
As is always said, Balotelli is a risk, but one that can bring huge rewards due to his talent and relative young age. When he’s on form, he’s one of the best forwards in Europe. It’s simply a matter of managing his personality and getting the best out of him regularly.
If Liverpool are prepared to take that risk – and the Suarez money should give them some movement on this particular front – this deal has every chance of being a resounding success.
Wilfried Bony has gone a long way to proving he isn’t just a good goal scorer in Dutch football, scoring 16 league goals for Swansea in his first season in the Premier League. At 25, there is much more to come from the powerful striker.
Bony has been linked with a move up the Premier League ladder, and Liverpool, on the verge of losing Luis Suarez, would be a good fit for the Ivorian.
He’s quick and powerful, offering Brendan Rodgers another option for his attack. Although Rickie Lambert has recently been signed, Bony, given his age, would be a player to sign for the long term.
He and Daniel Sturridge could, in theory, form a highly productive attacking partnership.