As the curtain fell on an arguably underwhelming Premier League season yesterday, many clubs would have found themselves looking to improve heading into the new campaign. Amongst these clubs one would certainly find Liverpool who have not only failed to impress in the Champions League but, perhaps more importantly, did not manage to qualify again. The embarrassing 6-1 loss at Stoke City was just another low. Whilst the below-par performance cannot be simply explained by blaming it on the departure of Luis Suarez, it is still true that the attack have not really won any accolades this year. With an injury-prone Daniel Sturridge spending significant time on the sidelines and the incoming Divock Origi not quite the finished article yet, Liverpool will need attacking reinforcements, strikers or otherwise. We look at some intriguing options below.
The young Burnley striker has seen his stock rise significantly this season and, given that he is out of contract, Ings will be a viable option for various clubs. He has already been linked to Liverpool, but other clubs like Borussia Monchengladbach are thought to be as keen to secure the striker’s services. The lack of Champions League football might ultimately scupper Liverpool’s chances of bringing the striker to Anfield.
Ings did not make headlines as a goal scorer, although he managed 11 for lowly Burnley, and it would be wrong to regard him as a typical number 9. More than any other player across the Premier League though, he successfully took on players in one-on-one situations this season. With the likes of Eden Hazard in the league, the above can be considered quite impressive. Danny Ings is a player type that provides a perfect link between midfield and attack, something that Liverpool have been lacking, despite some great performances by the rather impressive Coutinho. The latter would truly benefit from Ings’ addition to the squad, as attacking responsibilities would be shared more equally.
As cheesy and nostalgic as it may sound, Danny Ings is actually fairly similar to Luis Suarez in terms of playing style, although more development would be needed at this stage. However, at 22 years of age, he seems a great fit.
The Frenchman has seen himself move up in the football world in recent years. His most recent move from Real Sociedad to Atletico Madrid worked out in his favour, as Griezmann was able to test himself at the Champions League level. For his young age, the striker has already gained some extensive international experience that Liverpool could benefit from. Given Atletico’s ability to offer Champions League football yet again, the only factor in Liverpool’s favour might be a better payday.
Similar to Ings, Griezmann would rather complement Daniel Sturridge and not completely replace his goal-scoring ability, although he scored an impressive 22 goals in his first season at Atletico. As such, he would offer an arguably stronger link between midfield and attack. Griezmann is a technically gifted left foot and would help create opportunities for others, whilst probably chipping in around 20 goals of his own. Again, this would represent a significant improvement to Liverpool’s attack, but it seems impossible to think that Atletico would let him go.
Young, German, talented. Those are some of the things that can be said about Hoffenheim’s most coveted player. Again, Volland is not known as a goal scorer, but as a link-up striker. The young German international is said to be wanted by many and the question is as to whether the time has come for him to move on. Eight goals and seven assists suggest that Volland is a balanced striker that looks beyond merely scoring.
Liverpool seems like the perfect fit for Volland who is physically strong, tactically intelligent and technically gifted. The forward would arguably link-up well with Coutinho and Henderson in midfield and would provide an alternative option up front. For Volland, a move to Liverpool would be one of prestige and better future prospects. The club have most recently gained some great experiences from signing Emre Can, who also joined from the Bundesliga. This would be reassuring to both Volland and Liverpool.
In addition to the above, the likes of Ciro Immobile, Alexandre Lacazette and Patrick Herrmann might be alternative solutions, but ultimately, Liverpool’s purchases will be driven by a number of factors this summer. One of the most significant ones might be the lack of Champions League football.