The forwards Liverpool could realistically sign this summer

Now that the UK Government have nailed their colours to the mast and promised a summer free of empty stadiums, masks and social distancing, everyone is looking forward to June.

But that’s particularly true for Liverpool fans, who have the additional incentive of seeing the back of this cursed season.

Whichever way you slice it, 2020/21 has been a disaster for the Reds, and while defensive injuries have grabbed the headlines, scoring goals has been just as big a problem.

Since putting seven goals past Crystal Palace in December, Jurgen Klopp’s team have netted just nine goals in 11 league matches. Mohamed Salah is banging them in for fun, but Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are struggling, and desperately need someone to come in and take the pressure off.

But who could it be?

Estimated price tag: £40m

Reports suggest Liverpool have been watching the winger’s development closely since he arrived in the Premier League and it’s little wonder why.

He has set Elland Road alight with his electric pace and trickery, standing out even in a Leeds team that isn’t short of attacking flair.

He won’t come cheap, having just arrived for £17m in the summer, but he comes already adapted to the Premier League and acclimatised to a high-intensity system.

It just fits.

Estimated price tag: £35m

A less obvious option is RB Leipzig’s versatile forward Christopher Nkunku, who has starred in a multitude of attacking roles for Julian Nagelsmann’s team since arriving from PSG.

He’s not the most prolific of goalscorers, averaging just a goal every seven games throughout his time in Leipzig, but his output has improved with every season of his career, and he brings a number of other attributes to the table.

He’s a known hard worker and is famously difficult to dispossess, doing his best work bringing the ball infield and looking for runs ahead of him.

He’s an entirely different player to the likes of Mane, Firmino or even Diogo Jota, so would bring another dimension to Klopp’s attack even if he isn’t likely to bang the goals in.

Estimated price tag: £25-35m

Liverpool were famously close to signing Sarr in the summer, but ended up getting Jota instead, not entirely convinced he was worth the £35m Watford were demanding.

Since then, though, the 23-year-old has got his head down and proved beyond all doubt that he is far too good for the Championship. He scored two and assisted three against Bristol City in one game earlier this season, and has been one of the players of the season in the second tier.

His price will fluctuate depending on what division Watford are in next season, but Liverpool clearly rate him and there is no reason to think they won’t rekindle their interest.

Estimates price tag: £25m

The absence of a traditional number nine in the Liverpool squad has been exposed by Firmino’s drop off in form, and with Divock Origi evidently not cutting the mustard, there is space for an out and out striker.

Step forward Isak, who is enjoying the season of his life for Real Sociedad in La Liga.

The gangly target man has a lot to his game, and while he doesn’t offer much defensively, what he does bring to the table is goals.

He’s netted 12 of them in 20 league appearances this term and it looks like just a matter of time before the former Dortmund striker earns a move back to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Estimated price tag: £40m

Well, Jota worked out, didn’t it?

Evidently Premier League tax is at play in the case of Neto, who has impressed stepping into Jota’s shoes this season. He has been a virtual ever-present and directly contributed to a third of Wolves’ league goals, which says it all about his influence.

Wolves know they stand to make a fortune off the Portuguese, who looks a revelation at just 20 years old.

Despite his age, though, he will have two full seasons of Premier League football under his belt by the time the campaign finishes, and the time may be right for Liverpool to pounce.

Estimated price tag: £25m

After a stuttering start to the season that was stricken with injury, coronavirus and enforced isolation, Celtic striker Edouard has quietly returned to some of his best form. He’s netted nine goals since the turn of the year, surpassing 20 for the third successive season, and it seems like just a matter of time before he moves south of the border.

While he is often typecast as a powerhouse striker, Edouard actually excels most in his touch, subtlety and composure – far closer to Firmino’s game than he gets any recognition for.

His Celtic alumna make for some impressive reading, with Virgil van Dijk and Kieran Tierney counted among their recent exports. Edouard looks as good as any who have come before him, and with his contract expiring in 2022, the Glasgow side’s negotiating position weakens with every passing week.