In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Bradford City striker Dean Windass has said that a number nine will be on Jurgen Klopp’s shopping list this summer, amid a report from The Athletic’s James Pearce saying they need a new one.
Despite romping to the Premier League title and Champions League in each of the previous two seasons, the Reds’ only recognised striker in their squad is Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian has done an outstanding job of leading the line since arriving from Hoffenheim, but his goal record is less than impressive.
Firmino has only scored more than 20 goals once in his five years on Merseyside, whilst the Reds striker has found the net just 15 times in the Premier League since the start of last season, which is 10 fewer than Sadio Mane and 21 less than Mohammed Salah.
And whilst Windass praised Firmino’s footballing ability, he told FFC that Klopp needs a proven goalscorer. He said:
“He’s a link lad. I’d call him a link man, he’s not a number nine. He plays as a number nine because he plays alongside Salah and Mane, but he’s not a left winger, he’s not a right winger. He’s not got the pace to play in the wide areas, he plays in the number 10/number nine role.
“Quality footballer, but he doesn’t get enough goals. What a top drawer footballer and football intelligence, great first touch and great awareness, but he just doesn’t score enough goals, and I don’t think last season he scored many goals at Anfield.
“I don’t think he’ll leave, but I’m sure that a number nine will be on their list.”
This is going to be a tricky decision for Klopp, but going out and signing a striker is a smart move.
Firmino has been an great servant for Liverpool, but the Reds have fallen worryingly far behind Manchester City this season and therefore must go out and make a statement signing.
It wouldn’t necessarily spell the end of Firmino’s career on Merseyside, but if Liverpool are going to become challengers once again, another striker would be the first step in the right direction.