Liverpool are in desperate need of not just a striker this summer, but a striker who can start every match and lead them back into the Champions League. With no guarantee Daniel Sturridge will ever again be a major contributor for the club following his latest injury setback and news he won’t be available until September at the earliest, that has to be the goal.
Promising youngsters like Divock Origi or gambles on relegation salvage like Danny Ings quite simply aren’t the answer, at least not if Liverpool intend to fix the mistakes of last summer by belatedly bringing in a fit and proper replacement for the now long-gone Luis Suarez. It’s a situation that has seen the club linked to players as seemingly far apart in style as Christian Benteke and Karim Benzema.
It’s also been rumoured they’re looking at AC Milan’s Jeremy Menez, the part-time striker who signed on a free from Paris Saint Germain last summer and is winding up a successful first season in Serie A. The problem is that Menez has spent most of his career on the wing and, aside from this past year with Milan, hasn’t even had especially good scoring numbers as a winger.
The 28-year-old might make sense, for the right price, as a more experienced option in the mould of Memphis Depay or Son Heung-Min, but a player nearing the tail end of his prime who over his career has averaged a goal every five or so games and a strike rate that hovers around 12% most years doesn’t convince as a potential new Plan A should Daniel Sturridge spend much of next season sidelined.
"At the moment, we’re happy with Jeremy at the club," said the player’s agent and brother when he was pressed on rumours in the Italian press linking him with a move to either Liverpool or Monaco. "The club hasn’t told us anything and we have no reason to leave. We know that in modern football every player is for sale, but we haven’t been contacted by anyone."
His career numbers in front of goal may not be great, but he seems to have figured things out at Milan this year, where he has scored 16 times, with a goal every 168 minutes he’s on the pitch and a strike rate better than 20%. He has also been rumoured to be available for around €10M, which could well make him interesting to some club even if he seems a stretch to solve Liverpool’s striker problem.
"Jeremy feels good at Milan, and he’s just had the best season of his career," added agent Kevin Menez. "Liverpool and Monaco? These are just rumours, and there are rumours about every player, especially one who has just scored 16 goals. A player like that may be in demand, but there is nothing at the moment, nothing concrete."
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