German boss Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool in a blaze of publicity. He arrived as one of the most high-profile bosses in the European game.
Klopp has drawn all three of his competitive games so far and one of his problems he faces in the months ahead I sorting out his forward options.
The former-Dortmund boss inherited three international strikers from Brendan Rodgers. Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke have proven to be prolific goal scorers in the past in the Premier League.
The other available senior striker is highly-rated young Belgian striker Divock Origi, who burst onto the football scene at World Cup 2014 with Belgium. The youngster has made an unimpressive start to his Reds career though.
On paper those three players look like decent options for Klopp to have, especially if he plays with his preferred formation of one up front.
However, in reality it is a different matter, as Sturridge has spent almost the whole of the last year of his career sidelined by injuries. The England international has made sporadic appearances and is once again sidelined, this time with a knee injury.
He will not face Bournemouth in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup this evening, neither will Benteke, who has also has a knee problem. The Belgian international has only just returned from injury himself.
In Benteke and Sturridge’s absences, Origi has filled-in up front and already people are questioning the youngster’s ability to play for the club. At 20-years of age he is still a very young player, but arrived at Anfield in the summer with a big reputation.
The Reds had signed him in the summer of 2014 from Lille during the World Cup when his stock was high and he was loaned back to the French Ligue side for last season.
The youngster struggled to make an impression in the French top-flight last season, so why Reds fans thought he was ready for the Premier League I do not know.
The most common accusation levelled at Origi is that he does not have the right level of composure to become a top level striker. At just 20 he can learn to a certain degree how to be more composed in front of goal, but it is fair to say he is not a natural born goalscorer, which may hinder his career as a central striker.
For much of his time at Lille he played as a winger, where he used his undoubted pace and trickery to full effect. However, a winger’s main job is not to put the ball in the back of the old onion bag.
It must be frustrating for everybody connected with Liverpool for the club to have two very good strikers in Benteke and Sturridge, who are also just a run away from a few weeks on the sidelines through injury.
In truth on paper Benteke and Sturridge could be seen as an ideal partnership, even though they are unlikely to be used in tandem very often by Klopp.
Benteke is your archetypal big strong centre-forward, but with no little skill thrown in. Sturridge is more of an instinctive, quick finisher, who could probably complement Benteke’s abilities.
For Liverpool fans the pair would likely be a dream partnership. Unfortunately for the side from Merseyside it seems hard enough for the Reds to get one of them one the pitch at a time, never mind both at the same time.
Jurgen Klopp could have a few difficult decisions to make in the future about his strikers if he is to be successful at Anfield. Benteke was brought in for a big fee in the summer and Reds fans will be hoping he can get fit and stay that way.
If Liverpool can play to his strengths then he will be successful for the Reds, but whether the striker fits with Klopp’s style remains to be seen.
Sturridge is conundrum that Klopp has to solve as well, as when fit he causes defence big problems. The trick is keeping the former-Chelsea fit, which has been impossible in the last year.
Despite a perceived lack of attacking talent available for tonight’s game against Bournemouth, the Reds are still favourites to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition at odds of 8/15.
Maybe tonight will be the night that Divock Origi gives the Liverpool fans a glimpse of his undoubted potential and fewer people will be questioning the Reds forward options this season.
However if his two attacking colleagues continue to struggle for fitness then Liverpool are going to struggle to find the net on a regular basis, which could be to major detriment of Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield career.
Can Liverpool be successful with their current strikers?
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