Liverpool may well have lost Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling this summer, but the Merseyside club’s swift actions in the transfer market suggest that they are not ready to give up the fight for a top-four place just yet.
It is in attack where the Anfield outfit are set to undertake the biggest sea-change, with a number of new faces arriving at the club to offset Sterling’s exit.
With Christian Benteke’s impending move from Aston Villa on the verge of being completed, Liverpool have added a centre forward with strength, speed and purpose to their existing options.
The Belgium international’s arrival will also lessen the dependence on injury prone Daniel Sturridge to fulfil the number nine role and give Brendan Rodgers’ more options.
It will be interesting to see what formation the club use next season, what with a partnership between Sturridge and Benteke having the Kop salivating.
[ffc-gal cat=”liverpool” no=”5″]
Danny Ings has also been added this summer, while Divock Origi returns from a loan stint at Lille to make it four centre forwards at the Northern Irishman’s disposal – without considering Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli or Fabio Borini.
However, if Rodgers continues with his bespoke 3-4-3 from last term, this suggests the use of one of the central strikers with two attacking midfielders behind him.
In these roles, although Sterling is no longer an option, Rodgers has plenty of players to pick from.
Last season’s star performer Philippe Coutinho appears to be undroppable and guaranteed one of the spots, with the temptation to partner him with compatriot and exciting signing Roberto Firmino evident.
The pair played together in Brazil’s ill-fated Copa America campaign this summer, but Firmino was used as a central striker rather than in his preferred role as a supporting striker.
Having the two Brazilian playmakers behind a central striker will be a daunting proposition for Premier League defenders to deal with next season and could well be Rodgers’ first choice.
However, others will be in consideration for an attacking midfield berth too.
Jordon Ibe could well be one in with a shout given that Nathaniel Clyne will fill the right wing-back role, while Lazar Markovic was signed last summer at great expense to play in this position.
However, the Liverpool star that could well find first-team opportunities most difficult to come by next season is Adam Lallana.
The England international showed glimpses of his stellar ability in his first campaign on Merseyside but was prevented from gathering momentum due to debilitating injuries.
The former Southampton man has been vocal recently in his desire to show the Kop just what he can do – but there is absolutely no guarantee that he will be in Rodgers’ starting XI come the first day of the season.
Although Sterling’s star appeal is no longer available to Liverpool, Rodgers has plenty of options and as such Lallana could well be the man to miss out in the Reds’ attacking line-up.