Since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival at Anfield in October 2015, the Liverpool manager has transformed the club’s squad. The arrivals of the likes of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk, along with the emergence of Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, have made the Reds solid at the back.
On top of that, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have both arrived to help make the Merseyside club’s attacking force one of the most feared in Europe. So far in the German coach’s tenure Liverpool have reached a Champions League final and are currently in the thick of a Premier League title race.
However, if Klopp is to continue taking the club forward, there are improvements to his squad that must be made this summer. At the top of the list of issues to address should be the lack of quality squad depth. The club’s attacking contingent, for instance – outside of the main three of Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino – leaves plenty to be desired.
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Daniel Sturridge is an experience centre-forward, but he can no longer offer the club what they need, even as a back up option. This season at Anfield has to be his last.
The 29-year-old’s current contract is set to expire at the end of this season. Last summer, the 26-cap England international striker spoke of his desire to earn a new deal with the Reds, as reported by the Telegraph. However, to offer him any new terms would be a mistake on the part of the club.
Sturridge is too injury prone to be reliably available and simply hasn’t got the quality to compete at the level that Liverpool are now operating at. The greatest difference between Liverpool and their current rivals for the title, Manchester City, is quality squad depth.
Whereas Pep Guardiola has either Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus to call on to lead the line, Klopp has Firmino or Sturridge or Divock Origi. Beyond Firmino, both are underwhelming options. Alternatively, he can play Salah out of position through the middle, but that only creates another gap elsewhere.
If Liverpool are to sustain this period of success at the club, they must have greater reserves of talent to call upon in their squad. That can begin this summer with the exit of Sturridge, and the signing of an upgrade on him.