Raheem Sterling is key to Liverpool finishing in the top four next season

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Liverpool's squad currently looks very slim on world class talent. With Steven Gerrard having played his last match for the club, there is a desperate need for strength and guile in midfield.

And, with this season's attacking purchases of Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert being massive disappointments, goalscorers are thin on the ground at Anfield.

With Raheem Sterling set to leave Liverpool for a reported £60 million they would have a significant war chest this summer to try and claw themselves back into the Champions League positions.

If he stayed, however, the Reds would have to make do with him and Daniel Sturridge up front, hoping that players such as Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can would step up.

Surely far too much to ask considering Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea will all be strengthening and currently have far deeper, more talented squads. 

The only chance they have is to sell Sterling to the highest bidder and add another £20 million to their budget. With this money they could possibly bring in James Milner with the promise to play him in his favoured central midfield position. That would help with Gerrard's absence. 

Danny Ings looks set to join on a free transfer when his contract expires but he definitely does not posses the ability to take Liverpool to the next level.

Negotiations are also said to be underway to sign 24-year-old Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio. An attacking talent who scored 13 goals last season. Mario Mandzukic is rumored to be a target and would certainly add some attacking fire power to the front line.

Firepower up front is the most crucial piece of the jigsaw if Liverpool are to create a more aesthetically pleasing picture for their fans next season. The sale of Luis Suarez and injuries to Sturridge have cost the Reds dearly.

They scored 52 goals this season - 21 less than champions Chelsea and 10 less than the Red Devils in fourth place. Most staggeringly though they scored 49 less than they did last season.

101 goals saw them miss out on the league by two points. Suarez netted 31 times and Sturridge 21. Who knows where Liverpool would have ended up had those two played all of this season. 

The only way to fill the void left by Suarez is to sell Sterling and invest in a world-class goalscorer. Obviously they need Sturridge to have an injury free season as he would almost certainly bring 20+ goals to the table.

With Coutinho continuing his progression and Can finally being played where he is most suited in midfield Liverpool could once again prove to be plucky underdogs .One thing is for sure, they have a footballing mountain to climb to topple any of the teams in the current top four next season. 

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Raheem Sterling
Premier League

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