Liverpool have not enjoyed the most satisfying of starts to life after Luis Suarez, but, as they begin to be linked to moves for some of Europe’s top strikers it seems that they may be wide of the mark in their attempts to address the situation.
On these pages only yesterday readers were brought news of a potential swoop for Napoli’s former Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain and now the Daily Star are reporting the Reds to be keen on ‘reigniting’ an interest in Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
Brendan Rodgers’ side remain 11/10 fifth in the betting for a top-four Premier League finish despite a lukewarm opening section to 2014/15 that has seen them record three wins and as many defeats in six outings against top-flight opposition.
Yet they have notched in all bar one of those outings and, with Daniel Sturridge, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert competing for what is more often than not one centre-forward berth, pursuing a fourth line-leader seems like folly of the highest order.
The glitches in the Liverpool system are far more nuanced than simply needing more goals from the strikers.
Under the umbrella of defensive frailty a number of symptoms live alongside one another.
Central to their sufferings is the rusting edifice that is Steven Gerrard, now regularly targeted by opposition managers, at the base of the midfield and this is the area in which January efforts should be focused.
Far from a natural holding player, the skipper’s instincts are not the purest when it comes to covering for the extremely attacking inclinations of full-backs Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo and this exposes centre-halves that are far from the from the division’s paciest.
It’s a central defence which lacks a clear hierarchy too, with summer arrival Dejan Lovren not making the most of his seemingly first-choice status.
Behind him Martin Skrtel seems to have assumed the questionable status he held under Rodgers in 2012/13 once more, while Mamadou Sakho steadfastly refuses to demonstrate why he got so much game time for France at the World Cup in a red shirt.
Yet, the suspicion is that whoever the Liverpool manager selects in those positions, their effectiveness would be greatly aided by the kind of the reduction in positional quandaries brought about by operating in the presence of a top class deep-lying midfielder.