Liverpool should be looking at the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani this summer to replace flop strikers Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert, according to Anfield hero Phil Thompson.
The Reds embarked on a massive £110m transfer splurge last year following the exit of Luis Suarez, with the aforementioned duo both signed to help with life after the Uruguayan.
Daniel Sturridge’s injury increased the pressure on both players – who cost around £20m combined – but a return of just three Premier League goals between them has been far from sufficient.
Thompson believes that Brendan Rodgers will go shopping to address his team’s need for a goal-getter, but he thinks they should aim a little higher than names such as Danny Ings, with Cavani, Lavezzi and Higuain possessing the quality the Merseysiders need:
“Sturridge’s latest injury confirms that you cannot rely on him throughout the course of a season and Liverpool need suitable cover for him,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s always been the way for Sturridge, he’s proving quite fragile and we might not see the best of him until next season now.
“Burnley’s Danny Ings doesn’t have the experience to carry that weight and I think Brendan Rodgers needs to bring in a more established striker. Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani or somebody of that ilk is required, which means Liverpool are going to have to spend big to be considered title contenders next season.
“There will be quite a few offloaded and Rodgers might have a bit of a clear out. I think it will be very difficult for Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini to remain and, whether the club want to move them on or not, I think they’re going to want to seek pastures new.”
Cavani cost PSG close to £50m in 2013, while the Parisians paid around £20m for Lavezzi the year before.
Higuain plies his trade with Napoli, who shelled out £30m for him almost two years ago.