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McAteer: Rodgers must find striker who fits philosophy to replace Suarez

The ex-Reds midfielder says he would love to see them splash out on the right marquee signing before the end of the month.

McAteer was in Dublin this week to launch Vodafone's new partnership with Sky Sports.
McAteer was in Dublin this week to launch Vodafone's new partnership with Sky Sports.

LIVERPOOL NEED to sign a top class striker before the transfer window closes at the end of this month, according to former player Jason McAteer.

The Reds have brought in seven players over the summer so far as they look to go one better than their second-place finish in the Premier League last season, but have had to deal with the departure of top scorer Luis Suarez — who joined Barcelona for £75m (€93m) despite being in the middle of a four-month ban.

Having missed the start of last season through suspenions, the Uruguayan bagged 31 league goals in 33 games to earn himself the Premier League Golden Boot as well as PFA Player of the Year and Footballer Writers Player of the Year.

With the likes of Radamel Falcao and Edison Cavani linke in recent days, McAteer, who spent four seasons with Liverpool in the 90s, would love to see them buy a big name replacement for Suarez.

If the right player isn’t available, however, it will be up to others to fill the void left.

“I’d like to see a marquee signing come into the football club,” McAteer told TheScore.ie. “The thing that is vitally important is that it’s not all about going out and buying anybody.

“It’s important that Brendan brings in someone who fits the philosophy of how they play. Obviously losing Luis was a big disappointment especially in the manner which we lost him. The goals and the performances he put in last season were second to none. He was absolutely fantastic and he probably needs to be replaced.

“If the right man doesn’t come in, it’s not something we don’t really need to worry about but it would be down to everyone else chipping in with goals — Sturridge, Sterling, Coutinho, Lallana. They’re all going to have to step up and Henderson will have to score a few more goals.

“Then depending on what position they’re in come the winter transfer window if a striker needs to be brought I’m sure Brendan will go and buy one then.

“As far as it goes, I’d like to see one come in but we’ll have to wait and see if Brendan decides to go out in the next few weeks and bring one in.”

Soccer - Barclays Premier League Pre-season Package Rickie Lambert will be hoping to impress. Source: Martin Rickett

32-year-old England international Rickie Lambert is one of three players to arrive from Southampton along with Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren.  And McAteer is hopeful that Lambert, a £4m signing and boyhood Liverpool fan, will offer something different up front.

“What Rickie does is he gives Brendan the opportunity to play different systems,” he added. “He gives the option of a Plan B. Rickie is not as mobile as Sturridge or Sterling but he’s more of a focal point and has a great touch.

“He adds height in the box for crosses coming into the box. He’ll be looking to get on the end of things like that.

If Liverpool need to find an equaliser or a winner, then bringing Rickie off the bench would be the ideal thing to do.”

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With champions Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United all strengthening over the summer, McAteer has is certain we’re in for an even tighter title race this time around.

“Without a shadow of a doubt it’s going to be more competitive. Last season, there were so many new managers coming in and it was always going to be a building process for them clubs. The lack of consistency meant that the Premier League title was up for grabs for anyone really.

“It was a great one to nick and unfortunately from Liverpool’s point of view they just couldn’t get over that line.

“I think this season, Mourinho has brought in the players he wants and it’s going to be very much his team, Wenger has strengthened again, winning the Premier League will have given Pellegrini confidence and they have added.

“Manchester United have now that manager who maybe the man who should have been put in place before David Moyes was given the job, no disrespect to David. He will bring some stability, toughness and resilience to Manchester United like what Alex Ferguson did. You’ll expect them to be up there.”

Jason McAteer was in Dublin to launch Vodafone Ireland’s brand new partnership with Sky Sports. From 6th August Vodafone customers can enjoy Sky Sports channels live on their mobile just in time for start of the Premier League season on 16th August, followed by the 2014 Ryder Cup next month. Customers can avail of Sky Sports Mobile TV as part of their Red Extra bill pay plan or as an add-on to their current bill pay or PAYG package.

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