With the recent injury suffered to Fabio Borini, Liverpool’s need for forward reinforcements has only become more pronounced. The Italian, who arrived from Roma in the summer, will be out for three months after breaking his foot last week, further increasing the dependency on the club’s only established forward—Luis Suarez.
A 1-0 victory over Reading on Saturday came as welcome relief to Brendan Rodgers in what has been a difficult start to the season, although that win might have been achieved with a greater level of comfort had the Reds been more ruthless in front of goal.
It is that problem that looks sure to push Rodgers into the transfer market in January in search of a striker.
Two names likely to be firmly on the former Swansea boss’ list of targets are Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott. Sturridge, 23, was thought to be close to a loan move to Anfield in the summer before the Chelsea player pulled the plug by stating that he would only leave on a permanent deal.
However, with Chelsea believed to be lining up a move for Radamel Falcao and Sturridge thought to be out of favor at Stamford Bridge, the England international could be on the market in January. Indeed, the Daily Mirror reports that Chelsea will look to offload the former Manchester City man for £15 million.
Like Borini and Suarez, Sturridge is capable of playing all across the front line, though whether he is the natural striker Liverpool require remains to be seen.
Walcott could also soon be on the way out of his current club. The England international’s contract at Arsenal runs out next summer and he could leave on a cut-price January deal. Walcott has so far refused to sign a new deal, claiming that he wants to play in a central striking role.
Liverpool are ready to offer £10 million for the 23-year-old, according to the Mirror. However, with Walcott likely to want to join a club in the Champions League, Liverpool could be beaten out by fellow-reported suitors Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Another player who could be available on a reduced fee in January is Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. With the Netherlands international’s contract set to expire next summer, a host of Premier League clubs are said to be keeping a close eye on his situation, including Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal, according to the Daily Mirror.
Huntelaar was also linked to the Reds in the summer, after scoring a league-high 29 Bundesliga goals last season.
A similar situation is said to be brewing over another Schalke star—midfielder Lewis Holtby. Born to a father who heralds from Merseyside, German international Holtby’s contract is also set to expire next summer.
Liverpool are ready to begin negotiating a pre-contract agreement with the midfielder in January, according to Goal.com.
Holtby, 22, who was raised an Everton fan, has spoken on several occasions of his desire to play in the Premier League in the future. The twice capped international has already scored three goals and contributed three assists in the Bundesliga this season.