Steven Gerrard says Liverpool need to buy proven goalscorers

Legendary club captain bids emotional farewell to Anfield in final appearance tomorrow

Steven Gerrard

has told Liverpool’s owner Fenway Sports Group that

Brendan Rodgers

requires proven goalscorers and not more potential talent from this summer’s transfer market to help return the team to the Champions League.

The Liverpool captain will make the final Anfield appearance of his illustrious 17-year career on Saturday having decided against becoming “a bit-part player” for his boyhood club.

Another factor in the decision to leave for LA Galaxy this summer, he admits, was an acceptance he is “getting too old” for the Premier League at almost 35.

Gerrard’s departure will deprive Liverpool not only of his vast experience and continued influence but also leave Rodgers increasingly reliant on a young squad for next season, a campaign of increased significance for the manager with his team almost certain to be without Champions League football.

FSG has purposely targeted emerging talent such as Philippe Coutinho over established names during its ownership of Liverpool, but the departing captain believes that strategy should be postponed this summer to enhance the team’s prospects of reclaiming a top-four place.

“I wouldn’t buy any more potential in the short term, I would buy players that are ready to come and fight and be successful,” said Gerrard before what is sure to be an emotional farewell against Crystal Palace.

Assessment

Asked to assess the Liverpool team he is leaving behind, the 34-year-old elaborated: “I can only go off the last 12 months. We have come mighty close in the cups, going out in two semi-finals, and in the league it was always going to be tough when we lost Luis [Suárez]. I thought we could definitely finish in the top four if we kept Daniel Sturridge fit.

“To get into the top four you need strikers who can score 25-30 goals a season. That is just the way it is. That is where we came short this season.

“I obviously don’t want to stand on the owners’ or Brendan’s toes – I am just speaking as a fan and having an opinion on where Liverpool are at this moment – but that is what we need to do. We need to bring players in those forward positions that can score 25-30 goals and you will see Liverpool do an awful lot better next season.”

Gerrard insists Liverpool were powerless to keep him once he decided against accepting a reduced role. The midfielder admitted that age has also caught up with him as a Premier League regular.

– (Guardian Service)

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