Liverpool urged to replace Roberto Firmino with star striker to help title defence

Liverpool need to strengthen in the striker position if they are to continue to compete for major honours, according to former Crystal Palace midfielder Darren Ambrose. Liverpool ran away with the Premier League title last season, finishing 18 points clear of second-placed Manchester City. But Ambrose does not think Roberto Firmino scored enough goals for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Firmino only managed to find the net nine times in 38 Premier League appearances last term.

Liverpool have made just one signing so far this summer, bringing in Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas for under £12million.

But Ambrose says a centre-forward must be sourced before the October deadline to enhance the Reds’ title defence.

“One hundred per cent the No 9, the centre-forward [needs to be improved],” Ambrose said on talkSPORT.

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“I’m going to emphasise, this isn’t me saying Firmino’s a bad player, because I think he’s fantastic.

“But if they didn’t win the league, which is hypothetical I know because they did and they battered the league, if they didn’t then you’d be looking first and foremost ‘did we score enough goals?’.

“And then first and foremost you’d be looking at the No 9, ‘did he score enough goals?’. The answer would have been no.

“However well he plays in the team, Emile Heskey was a similar type of player in saying you’ve got to see what he brings to the team.

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“But if they want to compete again and win the title, they need to strengthen the No 9 position.”

Meanwhile, former England striker Darren Bent believes Liverpool need to add strength in depth to their squad.

“The thing is with Liverpool, one to 11 they’ve got a very good team and deservedly won the Premier League, but they’ve not really added to that,” Bent said.

“I think they just need more strength in depth.

“If you look at Manchester City going forward, if Raheem Sterling is starting and he doesn’t play well and he comes off, they replace him with [Riyad] Mahrez or Bernardo Silva – there’s no real drop off [in quality].

“But you can’t tell me that when [Mohamed] Salah is not playing well and they bring on Minamino, the levels are too different.

“I know [Takumi] Minamino scored at the weekend, it was his first goal, but for me he is nowhere near the player Salah is.”

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