25 Apr 2016

They're Out: Liverpool legend claims £48m-duo are 'probably leaving' Anfield this summer. Inside Info?

Despite losing a 2-goal lead at Anfield on Saturday, Liverpool are in the midst of an improved run of form, and with the right signings in the upcoming transfer window, the Reds are well placed to mount a credible challenge for the top-four next season. There will inevitably be some major departures this summer, and Reds legend Phil Thompson is convinced that two of Liverpool's most high-profile attackers are destined for the Anfield scrapheap.

Speaking to Sky Sports over the weekend, Thommo mused:

"Christian Benteke^ and Mario Balotelli* [are] probably leaving, and another top striker and central midfielder are needed".

Irrespective of the reasons for their dual-failure at Anfield, Benteke and Balotelli are clearly not integral to Liverpool's forward progress, and the brutal truth is that neither player will be missed.

Prime example: Liverpool are unbeaten since Benteke's latest injury, and the team has smashed in 18 goals in seven games.

To add insult to injury, Daniel Sturridge is retaining his fitness, Roberto Firmino's best (and most prolific) position is proving to centre-forward, and Divock Origi has moved ahead of Benteke in the striker pecking order. It's time for the club to cut its losses, and if Liverpool can get £40m combined for both players, it'll be (IMO) an acceptable outcome.

As for signing a new 'top striker' - this is a no-brainer. Sturridge may be fit right now, but it's a huge mistake to go into next season relying on a player with such an atrocious injury history. Rodgers made that fatal decision in 2014-15 (after a sustained period of Sturridge fitness in 2013-14), and Liverpool paid the price.

It's also a mistake to rely on Origi and Ings, both of whom are relatively new to the Premier League. Neither has had a prolific goalscoring season at LFC, or any other club, and to mount a top-four challenge, Liverpool need another proven, Sturridge-esque goalscorer.

^ Benteke: Cost £32m * Balotelli: Cost £16m

Author: Jaimie K



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