Luis Suarez, a name that incites controversy wherever it is uttered. But it seems that the lack of that name is what is causing the difficulties at Liverpool, as they continue to struggle in finding a replacement.
Suarez left the Premier League for greener, less bite infested pastures, when he signed for Barcelona in the summer of 2014 for 75 million pounds, signing a five-year deal. The departure lead to a spending spree, with countless big names flooding into Anfield in an attempt to replace the star striker.
In their second premier league season without Suarez, the Merseyside club has struggled to find the back of the net; winning their first two league games 1-0, with both wins coming uneasy to say the least.
They were saved in their opener versus Stoke by a late Coutinho wonder goal, and Christian Benteke’s first goal for the side was marred by an offside controversy to conclude week two of premier league action against newcomers Bournemouth.
Spending in excess of 100 million pounds on strikers since Rodgers took over, how is it that Liverpool still finds themselves in limbo when it comes to finding goals?
Now, the Premier League side have a small army of strikers and still face the same problems. Daniel Sturridge was the man tapped to takeover in the post Suarez era, but his inability to stay healthy has plagued the English international.
His knack for being injured has lead to only six league starts in 2014 and none so far in 2015 with a return looking likely for mid September (barring setbacks).
Another big name is Mario Balotelli, whose life at Anfield started fairly rocky and does not look like it will continue for much longer. Scoring four goals in 28 appearances he has hardly proven himself worthy of the mantle, and although looking promising at times, has now been frozen out of the first team by Rodgers, along with fellow striker Fabio Borini.
So, lets move on to Borini, who played under Rodgers during his time at Swansea City, and has been lackluster at best since his move from Roma. With a promising loan spell at Sunderland during the 2013 campaign, the Italian tallied one goal and one assist upon his return to Merseyside.
Rickie Lambert was brought in as a consistent backup striker, and has left the club for West Bromwich Albion after just one season, and not much else, with his boyhood team.
This has lead to more arrivals over the summer. Danny Ings was brought in from Burnley and looked promising in preseason, although does not look like the powerful presence that can lead the line for Liverpool going forward.
Roberto Firmino was purchased from German side Hoffenheim, and did not feature during preseason, playing for Brazil in the Copa America.
However, the Brazilian has shown in cameos during the first two games that British football is an entirely different game, making very little impact if any while on the pitch, and infuriating Rofger’s during the match against Bournemouth, by failing to perform even the slightest of his defensive duties in a 1-0 game.
Divock Origi was neither good nor bad in preseason, making a slight impact, but squandering chances in front of goal. Benteke has looked promising in his first few games with the club, holding up play well, and harassing defenders any time the ball is in the air.
However, Liverpool’s offense has been rather stagnant, scoring only two goals in their first three matches, and it is unknown how Benteke will be featured after Sturridge’ return.
Is Liverpool’s current striker core good enough for a top four finish? Is this season the last chance for Sturridge to prove he can stay fit? Only time will tell, but the fact remains: Liverpool are still trying to find themselves in a world without Suarez.