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Liverpool in need of “a real leader” and a new spine – John Arne Riise

Liverpool must look to address problems with their spine in the summer transfer window, believes former Reds left-back John Arne Riise.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 10, 2008: Liverpool's John Arne Riise in action against Chelsea during the Premiership match at Stamford Bridge. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This summer promises to be one of the most exciting Liverpool transfer windows in many years, with Jurgen Klopp hopefully set to spend big on some top-quality players.

There is a clear lack of truly high-class talent in the current squad, especially in comparison with years gone by, and Riise believe a new spine is called for.

“I think that the central lines in every department have to be changed,” he told

“I think we need a goalkeeper, a real leader at centre-back, a central midfielder and also a centre-forward.

Daniel Sturridge is a fantastic striker but he spends more time on the sidelines than playing – and that is not good for the club.”

For all the quality of players like Mamadou Sakho, Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino, it is still a far cry from the spine of Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres from Rafa Benitez’s time in charge of the Reds.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 25, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp thanking fans after 6-6 winning in penalties during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Stoke City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Riise expressed his delight at Klopp’s arrival as Liverpool manager, however, as the club looks to return to the summit of English football in the coming years.

“I was very happy when he was appointed Liverpool manager,” he added.

“He demands a lot of effort, hard work and high pressing. His style suits the club perfectly.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, the club has not been challenging for titles and a club like Liverpool should always be challenging for titles, season after season.”

With Marko Grujic and Joel Matip already brought in ahead of next season, things have started positively in the transfer market under Klopp.

There are sure to be numerous changes before the start of the 2016/17 campaign, and Riise is spot on when he says additions to Liverpool’s spine are of undoubted importance.

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