Ahead of Sunday’s Premier League debut, Liverpool and boss Brendan Rodgers are still missing a top-flight striker to replace the now departed Luis Suarez. While much of the criticism lobbed at the Uruguayan following his third biting incident during last month’s World Cup was largely deserved, there is no question how important the 31-goal scorer was to the Reds incredible success last term. Rodgers has spent upwards of £90 million this summer on a total of seven players, but none can provide the attacking necessary to supplement Suarez’s absence. Still Rodgers continues his relentless search, and there still is a possibility that either Monaco striker Radamel Falcao or Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani make their way to the Anfield before the Sept. 1 deadline.
“The money is there - and we will look to improve at the top end of the field until the very end of the window,” Rodgers said according to Daily Mirror. “It’s not easy to get a top level striker, no. But we have to keep looking. We certainly need something, because we haven’t brought in another striker so far, apart from Rickie Lambert.”
Netting 106 goals in five years with Southampton, the 32-year-old Lambert certainly has the experience to help Daniel Sturridge in the attack on the domestic front, but Rodgers needs a player of either Falcao or Cavani’s caliber in order to make the most of their Champions League berth. Rodgers also alluded to the unpredictable nature of the transfer session.
“You just never know what will happen in that last week - the window will always throw up something,” Rodgers continued. We will persevere, and the boys are working hard behind the scenes to see what information we can get on the availability of players.” At this juncture it appears both players could be had by either Liverpool or a number of top clubs willing to pay their transfer fee and high wages. The 28-year-old Falcao has been labeled as “unsettled” in Monaco, which likely has to do with the departure of former teammate James Rodriguez to Real Madrid. As recently as last week, the Reds interest in Falcao was rebuffed due to an expected transfer to the Bernabeu instead. The Mirror, however, did cite sources in Spain that said there was no chance of deal to Madrid.
Although his overall health is questionable, considering he missed most of last term and all of the Colombia’s World Cup due to a knee injury, Falcao is evidently Rodgers’s first choice.
But Cavani could be a better option. The Uruguayan is healthy and coming off a 16-goal performance for PSG last term. That tally might seem low when compared to his stellar play with Napoli, but understand that Cavani was essentially knocking in any scoring opportunities that didn’t go to teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic. At Merseyside, Cavani would step into the lineup and immediately becomes the best striker on the field.
Strangely, both Falcao and Cavani’s market values are pegged around £53 million, and both are under contract until 2018. Meaning whether Rodgers gets his first or second choice, he’ll likely have to shell out a similar fee and wage.
There is a third striking option for Rodgers, in the form of Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi. Caught Offside reports Liverpool is prepared to offer £20 million for the 27-year-old who totaled 16 goals in 21 appearances in his first season in Florence. A former member of Manchester United, though he made only one appearance, Rossi made his name by scoring 82 goals in five years with Villareal, and he’s evidently eager to play for a Champions League bound club.