Could one of these five strikers prove a better fit than Benteke at Liverpool?

Having scored just 25 goals in 22 Premier League fixtures this season and failed to find the net against Manchester United on Sunday, it’s no secret where Liverpool’s biggest problems lie.

Indeed, strikers Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings are all sidelined through injury, whilst summer signing Christian Benteke has found himself stuck on the bench since the German gaffer took the Anfield helm in October.

It seems the Belgium international’s target man style doesn’t quite fit with the Klopp philosophy – most particularly in terms of final third fluidity and the Reds’ high-pressing game.

But fortunately for the Liverpool boss, the January transfer window represents a chance to bring in another striker better suited to his preferred style of play, capable of filling the almighty goalscoring void Origi, Sturridge and Ings have left behind.

With that in mind, Football Fancast have listed FIVE front-men potentially available this month who could prove a better fit than Benteke in Liverpool’s starting XI…

SHANE LONG


Southampton striker Shane Long is a scorer of great goals but is not a great goalscorer, having netted just 38 times in 192 appearances throughout his Premier League career during spells with Reading, West Bromwich Albion, Hull City and the Saints.

Nonetheless, Liverpool’s reported interest in the Ireland forward is certainly understandable, considering the reasons Jurgen Klopp has opted against making Christian Benteke his star striker since taking the Anfield reigns in October.

Whilst the Belgian battering ram lacks speed and flair, Long offers penetrative pace, great mobility and relentless industriousness. He continuously runs the channels, looks for space behind opposition defences and possesses the natural stamina required for the Reds’ high-pressing game.

Southampton have already rejected an £8million bid, however, and the Reds are unlikely to go much higher for a striker who has reached double figures across all competitions during just two of his ten-and-a-half campaigns in English football.

SAIDO BERAHINO


There’s plenty to like about West Bromwich Albion’s want-away striker Saido Berahino. He’s young, English, home-grown, versatile and boasts a decent scoring record – bagging 14 goals in 38 appearances for the relegation-threatened Baggies last season.

He’s also England’s second all-time top scorer at U21 level with a return of ten in eleven, further underlining his enormous potential, and offers the blistering pace Jurgen Klopp seemingly desires in a first-choice centre-forward.

But the 22-year-old’s tribulations this season are certainly a cause for concern. After having his ‘head turned’ by Tottenham’s failed £25million swoop last summer, Berahino has fallen afoul of manager Tony Pulis to the extent that he’s been handed just eight Premier League starts so far this season.

Likewise, the Hawthorns outfit appear to value the Burundi-born prodigy at a rather steep £20million, which seems excessive considering his contract now has just 18 months left to run.

Nonetheless, if Klopp can motivate Berahino in the right way, he could quickly prove to be one of the shrewdest investments in Liverpool’s recent history. That’s a big ‘if’, however.

MICHY BATSHUAYI


Belgium internationals have taken the Premier League by storm over the last five years and Marseille’s prodigious striker Michy Batshuayi has been tipped as the next Red Devil to continue that trend.

In scoring terms, the 22-year-old just hasn’t looked back since making his debut for Standard Liege in 2011, bagging 39 goals in 97 league appearances for the Jupiler League outfit to earn a big-money move to Stade Velodrome in summer 2014.

He’s gone on to net 21 times in 46 Ligue 1 outings for Marseille – including twelve goals (and six assists) in the French top flight this season.

Blessed with an impressive blend of power, speed and aerial ability, the 5 foot 11 frontman seems like a particularly good fit for Premier League football and certainly possesses the mobility to prove effective in Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing philosophy.

But Marseille know they’re onto a winning ticket and reportedly value Batshuayi at a whopping £35million.

OUMAR NIASSE


Oumar Niasse may not be a household name just yet but the Senegal international has set the Russian Premier League alight since signing for Lokomotiv Moscow in summer 2014.

Indeed, he’s already claimed the division’s Player of the Year award after bagging twelve goals and ten assists in 21 appearances during 2015 – a potent return which has seen Lokomotiv rise to an unexpected third in the league table.

The 25-year-old is famed for his brute athleticism, boasting power, pace and leap in seemingly equal measure, and can operate anywhere across the frontline, which should make him an ideal fit for the brand of nomadic attacking we’ve seen from the Reds on occasion this term – most particularly against Manchester City.

Furthermore, Niasse might be one of the few strikers in Europe actually available this month, amid reports he wants to move to the Premier League to be reunited with his Manchester-residing wife.

Admittedly, the 6 foot 2 forward represents a significant gamble considering his limited experience in European football. But rated at around £15million, he could be worth the punt.

JAVIER HERNANDEZ


Recent reports have claimed Liverpool are the latest Premier League club eyeing former Manchester United star Javier Hernandez and it’s not hard to see why.

Now enjoying regular starting football for pretty much the first time since moving to Europe in 2010, the Mexico international has bagged 19 goals in 22 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen this term following his £7.3million move from Old Trafford last summer.

That includes five goals in the Champions League’s group stages and eleven strikes in the Bundesliga – seeing him pick up the division’s Player of the Month award for November.

Also boasting three consecutive campaigns of double figures in the English top flight from his super-sub spell with Manchester United, the 27-year-old’s Premier League credentials are undoubted.

But it could well require doubling Bayer’s original investment to convince them into selling Chicarito after just six months at the Bay Arena and his association with United may well stand in the way of an Anfield move.

 


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