Liverpool and Ireland legend Ronnie Whelan has been doing a bit of transfer scouting ahead of the summer window.
Jurgen Klopp will most certainly be making a number additions to his Liverpool side who, while unquestionably playing some of the most attractive football in the league this season, are clearly lacking in depth in a few positions.
A new centre-back is surely going to be brought in, and a left-back would greatly ease the pressure on James Milner who has done a very respectable job since being asked to play there, but it's also very clear that an out-and-out striker is required to bolster the team's attacking threat.
Writing in his regular column for The Herald [via Independent.ie], Ronnie Whelan pointed out how odd it was to hurriedly sell Christian Benteke without having a replacement in mind to bring in.
I'm not sure how this happened. Suarez's exit was about as predictable as you can get but Rodgers ended up with Mario Balotelli as a replacement.
Similarly, Klopp knew he wanted to offload Christian Benteke and yet made no provision to replace him.
It's one thing to point out gaping holes in the squad, but if you are going to you're almost inevitably going to have to offer some solutions to the problems as well.
Knowing this, Whelan listed five strikers that he would like to see the club target in the summer, although three of them are extremely ambitious to put it kindly.
Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann was the first player listed, although his supposed buy-out fee in the Pogba region would make that a difficult deal to complete. Juventus hitman Gonzalo Higuain was the next name on the list, despite having only signed for the Turin club back in August for the gigantic fee of €90. Then came Edinson Cavani who has scored 37 goals in 36 games for PSG this season, but Whelan acknowledged his wages would be a big stumbling block, as would be swapping Paris for Merseyside we can only imagine.
To round it off, Whelan suggested Leicester City's Jamie Vardy and Sunderland's Jermaine Defoe as more realistic targets for the club to approach.
Here's what he had to say on each candidate:
If Liverpool want to be seen as serious players in the coming years, they need to be bidding for the very best and there is no better than this lad at the moment. Ireland fans saw him at his most lethal in Lyon in June and his form continues to dazzle for Atletico. I’m not saying they would even get him but a real attempt would show that the club has the right ambitions.
Another of the mega-strikers, Higuain is knocking them in for Juve all season, just as he has in every season in his illustrious career. Would cost a huge amount of money but he would give you goals.
Like Higuain, he’s seen it all and has delivered goals on demand now for 12 seasons in Serie A and now with PSG. Just turned 30, his age profile might make a difference to his transfer fee but not his wages.
If Liverpool are committed to a budget, Vardy might be a man they could make an offer for without breaking the bank. He would certainly suit Klopp’s high intensity approach.
I’m sure the lads who were on the transfer committee at Anfield would never have given Defoe a second thought but Klopp should. As a long term investment? No good at all but if the priority is to deliver goals and quickly, he would be well worth the small amount of money needed to get him.
A mixture of unrealistic and uninspiring names, perhaps, but it's clear that Liverpool will be looking to invest in firepower this summer so don't be surprised to see them linked to any, or all, of the above strikers in the media.