Michael Owen says Liverpool should be questioning their decision to hand Divock Origi a new long-term contract last summer.
The Reds decided to stick with Origi as their back-up up front after his Champions League heroics last season.
The Belgian scored three goals – two in the semi-finals and in the Madrid final – from his three shots on target.
Earlier this year, though, reports claimed Liverpool wanted to bolster their attack by signing Timo Werner.
The former RB Leipzig man eventually joined Chelsea in June, with the Reds reportedly backing out of the race due to his £50million release clause.
However, Owen claims instead that Liverpool felt they were unable to turn their back on Origi, as well as January signing Takumi Minamino.
“Will Origi and Takumi Minamino be there next season? Yes they will,” Owen told Premier League Productions.
“Origi’s just signed a new contract and Minamino’s only just signed. They are there and they’re fixed but that doesn’t mean you can’t question whether they should be.
“Origi signing a new long-term deal was almost Liverpool…they were loyal to him weren’t they?
“He’d done what he’d done [in the Champions League] and all of a sudden they they thought he’s done that so you have to give them a new contract. That’s now prevented them from going and spending big money on a back-up striker.
“Timo Werner was obviously a player that Liverpool were linked to and he’s eventually gone to Chelsea. I think that type of player would have been brilliant for Liverpool.
“They signed Origi on a long-term contract that virtually ruled out a back-up striker and I’m not sure that they don’t need a better one.”
ORIGI FAILS TO SPARK LIVERPOOL INTO LIFE
Origi has scored five goals and assisted four others in 39 outings this season. However, he failed to spark Liverpool into life on Sunday after starting in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled to create chances in a dull first half at Anfield. But Roberto Firmino’s second-half introduction changed the game, the Brazilian influential in his side taking the lead.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring, before substitute Curtis Jones added the second.
READ MORE: Klopp’s reaction to Villa win