With Luis Suarez picking up yellow against Southampton, it means Liverpool's leading scorer—not to mention the club's only fit senior striker—will miss the trip to face West Ham on Sunday. This is the sort of thing that might commonly be termed a headache for the manager, and so this week we ask the obvious question: If it was up to you, which of the less than entirely convincing options left to Brendan Rodgers on Sunday would you go with if the choice was yours?
Samed Yesil: The Turkish-German striker hasn't made an appearance since playing the opening 45 against Swansea in the League Cup match that ended October—and ended Liverpool's run in the competition. Following a September that had seen him included as an unused substitute against Young Boys in the Europa League and then saw him play 80 minutes against West Brom in the League Cup there was some reason to believe that the 18-year-old had landed the role of back up to Luis Suarez almost by default, but since then he's only made one further appearance as an unused substitute in addition to that half of action against Swansea.
Adam Morgan: With Rodgers praising the local prospect during pre-season and the player seeing more action than many had expected in the club's friendlies—as well as in their two Europa League qualifiers against Hearts—Morgan's advancement to the first team at first appeared to have been fast-tracked. Since then, however, he has only appeared one more time for the senior side, when he played 60 minutes against Anzhi in the Europa League at the start of November. However, despite that he's been included in the senior squad less often than Samed Yesil, his last appearance was the most recent made by either, something that rather confuses any attempt to determine where Rodgers sees the two youngsters in the pecking order.
Jonjo Shelvey: The last time Liverpool played with a striker up top who wasn't Luis Suarez that striker was midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. He even scored a goal while leading the line, and the last time a Liverpool player in the striker role other than Luis Suarez has scored a goal for Liverpool was all the way back in on August 9th when Fabio Borini popped up with a goal against Gomel—though as Luis Suarez was on the pitch at the time, whether it should count as a goal scored by the primary striker is rather open to interpretation.
Moreover, in the past six matches, Shelvey or Joe Cole have been the closest things to alternatives at striker included in the teamsheet by Brendan Rodgers. It's a stretch that reaches all the way back to the Europa League match against Anzhi on November 8th when Adam Morgan started, and on the surface at least seems to suggest that Jonjo Shelvey is the most likely name to lead the line on Sunday against West Ham. On the other hand, while Shelvey appears to have established himself as something of a Plan B for Rodgers when Suarez is available, there's always a chance the manager's thinking could be different when it comes to who he wants to run out as his Plan A when Suarez isn't.
An. Other: If you're in the mood to be contrary, there are of course a few even less likely options that aren't entirely outside the realm of possibility. Dani Pacheco has been scoring freely at the U21 reserve level and has often been given cameos as a false nine striker at that level. Then there's Steven Gerrard, a player some have hoped to see pushed all the way up the pitch this season given his struggles to find consistency in midfield. And of course, if all else fails, there's always Joe Cole.