Having failed to sign an additional player for their attacking ranks this summer, Liverpool have to look to the near future to do so, with the age of their top three players approaching a point at which they could decline.
For one, or maybe two, of this trio, the point of decline may already have been reached. Ultimately, only time (well, the rest of this season) will determine whether that is true or not.
The arrival of Diogo Jota last summer was a good start. The Portuguese have the ability to take the next steps in his career at Anfield and has already started showing good signs of doing so.
Breaking the 20-goal mark this season wouldn’t be an unrealistic goal for a player who averaged one goal every 124 minutes for Liverpool in last season’s edition of the Premier League.
Adding another player of his ilk will be the next task for Liverpool, however, as Sadio ManÃ© and Roberto Firmino’s places in the squad are in jeopardy.
Ousmane DembÃ©lÃ© has long been linked with a move to Anfield. His injury record may not be the highest, but he is still only 24 and remains an extremely talented player.
The Frenchman has been a bit lost in Barcelona since moving there for a fee of around Â£ 96million following the Spaniards’ panic after losing Neymar to PSG.
But JÃ¼rgen Klopp is a huge fan of the player’s abilities, and it’s clear to see why. Despite their inconsistent form in Spain, there’s a reason Borussia Dortmund were so keen on getting such a sky-high transfer fee four years ago.
Now, however, with Barcelona struggling financially and DembÃ©lÃ©’s time at Camp Nou being far from fluid, his time in Spain could be coming to an end.
DembÃ©lÃ© is at the end of his contract at the end of the season. Reports suggest that unless Barcelona can get him to agree to a new deal – and that will have to be on their own limited terms given their economic restrictions – then the 24-year-old will be sold in January.
Antoine Griezmann’s departure this summer to return to Atletico Madrid has been one of the most embarrassing episodes in recent Barcelona history, although there are a few to choose from.
Losing DembÃ©lÃ© for nothing – or at best for cheap – would be another signal of their misfortune.
Liverpool have been linked for a long time but it is unclear whether their interest has ever been genuine to the point that an offer is being seriously considered. The talent, however, is pretty clear, and it wasn’t until last summer that Klopp was reportedly ‘convinced’ that DembÃ©lÃ© would move to Anfield.
“Oooh, is he on the market? Now I’m interested!” Klopp said almost sarcastically three years ago, mocking speculation that Barcelona might allow such a player to leave.
Now, however, this idea might not be so laughable, but almost inevitable.
The admiration for the player is obvious. Transfer links have been around for years. But only now is the time for Liverpool to make the transfer – provided the reserves on a checkered injury record can be relaxed.