Former Liverpool star Paul Ince believes the Reds will only become Premier League title contenders when they buy a striker who can stay fit and score 20 goals a season.
The Reds failed to score at Anfield on Sunday for the first time under Jurgen Klopp when drawing a blank in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.
That was despite Liverpool having 53% of the possession and 19 shots in the game, although only four of them were on target.
Daniel Sturridge may be regarded as one of the game’s best finishers, but his ongoing injury troubles – the England striker has started just four matches this season – means the club needs to make the signing of a star centre forward their top priority, according to Ince.
“I don’t think Liverpool are that far away – if you look at the Manchester United game they created lots of chances and they could have won two games with the chances they had,” Ince told Sky Sports.
“It’s just in that final third they’re just not effective enough. I think they’re missing that fox in the box, that 20-goal-a-season man. They’re playing some great stuff, they’re pressing high and I like the way Klopp is going about trying to get Liverpool going.
“It’s a work in progress. If he brings in one or two players next year then I think they’ll be a force.”
Ince on Klopp
Ince has been impressed with the job Klopp has done since his appointment on October 8 and feels the fact he has a clear playing strategy is important, both to the squad and to the supporters.
“He brings a bit of madness, that’s for sure, but I think the players love him,” he said. “The jury is still out on him but I still see a lot of good in what he’s trying to do at Liverpool and the fans see it, which is the most important thing.
“I think when things are stagnating, that’s when there’s a problem, but the fans can see that it’s moving forward. I think he’ll do really well at Liverpool.”