There wa a rare mment of candor from Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers after his sides 0-0 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
Once again Rodgers saw his side dominate possession, Liverpool has 70% possession, and they managed 22 shots, but very few forced Albion goalkeeper Boaz Myhill to work.
Afterwards Rodgers admitted hat scoring goals has been a challenge all season, tacitly admitting that the purchases of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli to replace Luis Suarez had been a mistake.
“We just don’t score as many goals – it’s as simple as that. The players are giving the same effort, the same attitude and the skills they are transferring from last year are the same.
“We had two players last year who played in our front three who between them got 50-plus goals, and we don’t have that. But as a team, the players are giving absolutely everything.
“You saw today that they gave everything; there was some really good bits of play, clever bits of invention around the box. It’s just that final little piece.
“The numbers will tell you clearly in terms of our goals this year and comparison. This is the third season I’ve been here and they have grown each year I’ve been here.
“It’s an area we’ll look at in the summer and definitely one we have to do some work on.”
Suarez and Daniel Sturridge were magnificent last season, with Suarez scoring 31 goals in 33 league appearances while Sturridge added 21 goals in 29 games.
It was clear to everyone in the summer that with Suarez leaving that Liverpool would need to replace his goals. That they needed to sign a 25 goal striker. Liverpool’s first mistake was believing that either Lambert or Balotelli could be that goalscorer.
Balotelli has never scored more than 14 goals in the league in his career, while Lambert showed at Southampton that he is a 13-15 goal striker. A nice number, but not what Liverpool needed.
The second mistake that the Liverpool hierarchy made was believing that Sturridge could carry the load as Liverpool’s main striker this season. It has been a horrible season for the England striker, who has made just 12 appearances in the league due to injury. But anyone who has followed Sturridge’s career knows that he cannot stay fit consistently enough for you to rely on him to be your top goalscorer.
You cannot win the league, or qualify for the Champions League when your top scorer has seven goals this season.
For Liverpool to get back into top four, they need to go out and invest in world class top striker who can get them 25 goals next season. That is not Danny Ings or Charlie Austin. They might be nice squad editions, an improvement over Balotelli and Lambert, but they are not the world class finishers that Liverpool need.
What striker would you like to see Liverpool sign this summer?