As if they needed one, Liverpool were provided with a reminder of just what they were missing on Wednesday when Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish presented Luis Suarez with the European Golden Shoe award. It was an award won for his 31 Premier League goals at Liverpool, but picked up in his new home, Barcelona. After a difficult start to the season, even manager Brendan Rodgers admitted recently that his side were still trying to move on from the hole the Uruguayan left behind.
Liverpool’s task has been made much more difficult, though, by the fact that Daniel Sturridge has been out for more than a month due to injury. In the absence of their two top scorers from last season, Liverpool have lost three of their seven games, scoring just eight times -- a paltry return for a team that couldn’t stop scoring last term -- in the process. New forward signings Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert have just one goal between them and are still trying to find their feet, while Fabio Borini has failed to show any sign that he can contribute more than he did before his year on loan at Sunderland.
To much relief, Sturridge will be back when Liverpool visit Queens Park Rangers on Sunday. Still, there has been much speculation that Liverpool will look to reinforce Rodgers’s attacking options as soon as possible, despite the club’s significant transfer spending over the summer. If that is the case, they may not have to look far for a solution.
Divock Origi was signed by Liverpool during the summer for a reported £10 million but was allowed to go back on loan to Lille for this season. However, the Daily Express has claimed that Rodgers is desperate to get the 19-year-old back in January.
It is easy to see why that would be the case. Origi has scored four goals in six starts for Lille this season and added another in Belgium’s Euro 2016 qualifying win over Andorra last week. In addition, he has the pace to run in behind a defense that Liverpool were sorely lacking in Sturridge’s absence. But the chances look slim of Liverpool getting him to Anfield in January, given that there is no call-back clause in the loan agreement.
While getting in a striker appears unlikely, there may be stronger prospects of Liverpool addressing their problems at the back. Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has come under strong criticism and the club has repeatedly been linked with a move for free-agent former Barcelona stopper Victor Valdes. But with doubts about the 32-year-old’s fitness after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in March, reports in Spain have suggested that Liverpool are looking at another Spanish goalkeeper in Kiko Casilla. It’s thought that it will take €10 million (£8m) to prize the 28-year-old away from Espanyol, although Real Madrid are also said to be interested.
Another reported Liverpool target is Fabio Sturgeon. The 20-year-old midfielder has attracted attention for his performances at Portuguese side Belenenses and has already been seen several times by Liverpool scouts this season, according to the Daily Mirror. Benfica are believed to providing competition for the Portugal Under-20 international, yet he is thought to prefer a move to the Premier League due to having an English father.
The Mirror has also reported that Liverpool defender Glen Johnson is being trailed by Napoli. The right-back will be out of contract in the summer and recently admitted that talks had gone “very quiet” over a new deal. He will be free to agree a pre-contract with teams outside England from January.