Football

Reds need attacking alternatives, say Graeme Souness and Michael Owen

Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness said the newly minted English Premier League champions "might live to regret" not signing alternatives to their much-vaunted front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

He made the comments after the Reds' lacklustre 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Sunday via goals from Mane and substitute Curtis Jones.

Liverpool started with Divock Origi in place of Firmino but had to bring on the Brazilian on 60 minutes with the game still goalless.

Souness said on Sky Sports: "When you don't play one of those three, it's a fair drop in quality to Origi. They might live to regret that.

"I'm disappointed they're not buying another striker. I hope they find someone to fill the gap when one of those three don't play. Firmino links everything from back to front and we're missing that tonight."

Liverpool missed out on Timo Werner to Chelsea despite the German striker having previously spoken of his interest in joining the Reds. Reports suggest that Liverpool's reluctance to meet his buy-out clause and his desire to be a regular starter swayed him towards the Blues.

Ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen agreed with Souness, telling Premier League Productions: "Origi's just signed a new contract and (Takumi) Minamino's only just signed. They are there and they're fixed but that doesn't mean you can't question whether they should be...

"That's now prevented them from going and spending big money on a back-up striker.

"Werner was obviously a player that Liverpool were linked to and he's eventually gone to Chelsea. I think that type of player would have been brilliant for Liverpool.

"They signed Origi on a long-term contract that virtually ruled out a back-up striker and I'm not sure that they don't need a better one."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has said that he is keen to keep his side together.

Football