Far too often last season, Liverpool's attack lacked any sort of consistent threat. When they dominated possession in the opponent's half, they frequently recycled possession from side to side against a packed defense, and on the rare occasion they found a way through, they lacked a tried and true striker to apply the finishing touch. It was a stark, depressing departure from the fireworks of the previous season, when Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge lit up the Premier League.
It's no surprise that attacking talent has been the priority this summer, then, and the club's two biggest purchases--Roberto Firmino, who can feature throughout the forward areas, and Christian Benteke, who will start the season leading the line--were up top. Brendan Rodgers wants to score goals, and in Benteke and Firmino, he should be on his way to doing so.
The recently-added duo were absent during a preseason tour that saw Liverpool's attack run hot and cold, but they'll join the squad in the coming days along with Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can, who were both away on extended holidays after international duty earlier this summer.
These additions are, according to Adam Lallana, ones that should see Liverpool compete at the top of the table in the coming season:
"That's three world class attacking players to go on top of what we've already got. Then there's also Emre Can, who is another massive player for us. These are really exciting times. They probably won't be up to speed yet fitness wise but they will be great additions to the squad. Benteke's a big presence and he's going to be a massive signing for us. He scores all kinds of goals. He can score them out of nothing and he's dangerous in the air. From set-pieces, both for and against, he will be important. He's one of those players you want to have in your side."
In theory, Liverpool's attacking talent is vastly improved from last season, with Benteke and Firmino alone representing significant upgrades on who was available last season. Adding a more mature, confident Coutinho into the mix also makes the squad far more dangerous, and when Daniel Sturridge is back healthy, Rodgers should be able to call on one of the better attacking contingents league-wide.
The manager will need to do some sorting, though, especially early on, to try to find what works best for his personnel. That, even more than their individual talents, will prove vital in determining whether or not Liverpool's improvements this summer translate into results.