Former Manchester United player Paul Parker has pointed to Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as being Liverpool ’s “biggest problem” this season.
Mane and Firmino have scored just 13 league goals combined as the Reds’ Premier League title defence collapsed into a battle to make the top four.
The pair’s troublesome season continued in the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid, with Jurgen Klopp’s men only able to score one goal across the two legs.
Many have pointed to the injuries to Liverpool’s main centre-backs, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, as being the root cause of the team’s poor season.
But former England defender Parker believes it is at the other end of the pitch where the Reds need the most improvement next season.
“I think their biggest issue has been missing golden opportunities, and that, for me, has been their biggest problem,” he wrote in a column for Eurosport.
“Mohamed Salah has been their best forward, but Sadio Mane has had an ‘off’ season. Not just failing to score the goals but in terms of his performances too.
“Roberto Firmino has been so in and out. Long term, I think if they’re going to do anything next season, they have to freshen up the front line.
“Maybe have a better player to bring off the bench rather than Divock Origi. If they sort their front line out and start scoring goals again then you will definitely see Liverpool challenging next season.”
Parker does though believe that Klopp possesses an immediate solution to his attacking troubles in his squad and urged him to drop Firmino.
“Diogo Jota has to start. He makes a massive impact, and I think a lot of Liverpool’s issues wouldn’t be there at this moment in time if he had not got injured,” he wrote.
“I feel like he’ll make a difference in what is left of the campaign. But if Jota is to play between now and the end of the season, I think Klopp has to look at taking out Firmino.
“He’s just been so inconsistent. Even though he is the creative one, I just think they need to go all guns blazing with Jota.”