22 Dec 2016

Legend Insists: Liverpool have a 'replacement' lined up for 'fantastic' £43m attacker. Transfer still needed?

Who should replace 'fantastic' Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane during the African Cup of Nations?

Liverpool are currently linked with a foray into the January transfer window to cover Mane's loss, but according to Prem legend Shaka Hislop, the Reds already have a ready-made replacement at Anfield.

Speaking to ESPN, Hislop explained:

“If he’s fit, Sturridge comes off the bench and can change things, but in terms of an immediate replacement from the opening whistle, Coutinho is my man. If Coutinho’s fit then yes [he should replace Mane] without question".

This is obviously a no-brainer, and Coutinho's scheduled return at the end of December dovetails nicely with Mane's AFCON absence.

The question is, will this be enough? Coutinho will need time to regain match fitness, and if he has a recurrence of his injury, and/or Sturridge (or another of the club's attacking players) picks up an injury in January, it will leave the Reds short of attacking experience at a crucial time of the season.

Earlier this month, Klopp appeared to hint at a need for extra attacking cover, when he told reporters:

"If you see our bench yesterday, we had not much experience in offense. We have open eyes, but the winter transfer market is the most difficult one. We’re always looking".

Of course, Giorgino Wijnaldum is another attacking option available to Klopp, and with plenty of cover in central midfield, it makes sense to utilise the Dutchman on the left side of a front three, a position he played wit distinction for Newcastle last season.

* £43m-rated (CIES Football Observatory).


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