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Why Liverpool may only sign a new striker late in the transfer window

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Jurgen Klopp will almost certainly be looking to add to his forward ranks this summer, but it may be late into the transfer window before a new attacker is brought in.

While Mohamed Salah enjoyed another exceptional season in front of goal in 2020/21, scoring 31 times, only three other players netted five or more goals for Liverpool.

Those were Sadio Mane (16), Diogo Jota (13) and Roberto Firmino (nine), who were rotated as part of Klopp’s first-choice forward line.

Beyond that, Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino (both four) were the joint-fifth highest scorers, with four each, with the Reds benefiting from more own goals than they did from Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (all one) combined.

Origi, Shaqiri and Minamino are three players with question marks over their futures at the club this summer, and according to David Lynch for the Liverpool Echo, their sales may be required to fund a new arrival.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 13, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Takumi Minamino during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lynch explains that “any additions in that part of the pitch are contingent on departures – and that makes things a little trickier.”

The assertion is that while Origi and Shaqiri are available, they cannot be “pushed out the door without offers arriving,” while in Minamino’s case any departure is “entirely dependent on the interested clubs.”

The Athletic‘s James Pearce has previously claimed that Origi is valued at a similar price tag to Marko Grujic, with it suggested that Liverpool are looking for at least £15 million for the Belgian.

Shaqiri has two years left on the contract he signed in 2018, and it is feasible that he would command a fee in the same region – as would Minamino, who is tied down until 2024.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: FC Red Bull Salzburg's Patson Daka during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

There is no indication at this stage who Liverpool would pursue if they are able to add to Klopp’s attack, though Salzburg striker Patson Daka has been linked in the Austrian press.

Encouragingly, it is widely reported that the Reds have no plans to move on Salah or Mane, with it having been suggested that one of the first-choice forwards could be sold to fund a big-money signing.

Instead, it seems likely that another striker of the calibre of Jota is brought in, to challenge for a placing in the starting lineup, rather than immediately replace one of the existing starters.

But it would appear as though Liverpool are intent on playing a waiting game on that front, to avoid the situation faced late last summer when Grujic and Harry Wilson were loaned out due to an issue with squad numbers.

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