3 Strikers Liverpool Should Target as a Replacement for Luis Suarez
Despite Rickie Lambert joining the Reds from Southampton in a cut-price deal prior to Suarez's departure, Iago Aspas has left the club on loan and Fabio Borini is expected to join Sunderland in a reported £14 million deal, per Sunderland Echo, meaning the Reds are somewhat short of numbers in attack.
Daniel Sturridge has been nothing short of sensational since joining the club from Chelsea and has previously proved capable of leading the line in Suarez's absence. Shouldering the goalscoring burden for a whole season is, however, a different story.
With Lambert expected to provide backup to Sturridge and be a presence as a squad player, the need for Rodgers to add some serious fire-power to his squad is blatantly obvious.
Many strikers have been linked with a move to Merseyside already. Bruce Archer of the Daily Star claims the Reds could raid Southampton for a fourth time for Jay Rodriguez, while Samuel Stevens of The Independent reports an interest in Swansea's Wilfried Bony.
With a move for Loic Remy falling through due to reported issues with the QPR man's medical, Rodgers could well be back in the market for an alternative sooner rather than later.
This article will highlight three strikers who could ease the pain of Suarez's exit, as well as ease the burden on the excellent Sturridge.
Read on to see which three players the Reds should target.
No. 3: Ezequiel Lavezzi
Ezequiel Lavezzi is a player who would without doubt fit into the style of play currently implemented by Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward is a player who, similar to both Suarez and Sturridge, can play through the middle or from either wide position.
Lavezzi is more of a creative attacking talent than a prolific goal scorer and despite arguably not showing his best form since swapping Napoli for PSG, is a handful for defenders.
He is quick, strong and versatile and would provide Rodgers with numerous options if implemented in a front three alongside Raheem Sterling and the aforementioned Sturridge.
Although many South Americans have failed to adapt to life in the Barclays Premier League, Lavezzi has a ruggedness about him that suggests he would more than handle the physical aspects of the English game.
With both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani at their disposal, Lavezzi may be surplus to requirements. The Daily Express (h/t Simon Rice of The Independent) suggests that the PSG hierarchy could off-load Lavezzi to make way for Angel Di Maria.
An £18 million fee has been mooted, which seems like a good price for a player who has been a regular in Paris since his move from Naples and for a man who was part of the Argentina squad beaten to World Cup glory by Germany in Brazil.
No. 2: Jackson Martinez
The goal record of Jackson Martinez speaks for itself: 46 goals in 50 league games (via ESPN) since joining Porto in 2012 is nothing short of sensational.
The striker possesses fantastic pace and wonderful movement, while his eye for goal is second to none. Martinez has that knack of being in the right place at the right time that all good strikers need.
While Martinez failed to set the World Cup alight in Brazil this summer, mainly due to the fact that he began the tournament as a substitute, the quality shown during two seasons spent in Portugal highlight just why the Colombian could be a potential Liverpool star.
At 27 years old, the time for Martinez to make the step up and ply his trade in one of Europe's best leagues could not be better.
Anthony Chapman of the Express reports that Brendan Rodgers has—along with Arsene Wenger—already cast an eye over Martinez and is willing to meet the £35 million fee it would take to prize the striker away.
In the same article, Chapman reports how Martinez style of play would compliment that of Daniel Sturridge, and with both strikers boasting a terrific goal record for their current clubs, the potential for a successful partnership is blatantly obvious.
No. 1: Radamel Falcao
Arguably the most unrealistic out of the three strikers listed, but think about it.
The Colombian is one of the hottest properties in world football and has been linked with a summer move to a host of clubs, including Liverpool.
Metro reports that the Reds have joined the long list of suitors hoping to lure Falcao away from the riches of Monaco, although the same article states that the Colombian has eyes only for Real Madrid.
Having already signed World Cup winner Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich and Falcao's former Monaco teammate James Rodriguez during this summer's transfer window, whether a big money move for Falcao would comply with the financial fair play regulations remains questionable.
Something as trivial as this could help put the Reds in the driving seat should the former Atletico Madrid man seek pastures new this summer.
Falcao's goal record has been phenomenal wherever he has been. The striker followed up 62 goals in 73 games for Porto with 68 goals in 86 games for Atletico Madrid (via Soccerbase) during a two-year stint at the Vicente Calderon.
While a move to Anfield for the Monaco man may at this stage appear unlikely, it would be a real statement of intent should the Reds make a move for such a talent.
With funds available from Suarez's exit as well as shifting the Uruguayan's wages from the books, money should not really be an object. Whether or not the Reds could convince Falcao to make the move is up for debate.
The majority of readers and Reds fans will probably say Falcao is the man they want to replace Suarez, but how would you feel if the Reds made a move for either Lavezzi or Martinez? Do they have what it takes to be a success in the Premier League? As always, leave your comments below.