Much of the blame was placed on Liverpool’s worn defense for their disgraceful title defense last season, but their attacking contingent deserved to shoulder as much of it – if not more.
The Reds’ shaky 2020/21 campaign only allowed them to concede nine goals more than in the Premier League winning season, but they still collected 17 fewer goals.
Ismaila Sarr is on Liverpool’s radar / Richard Heathcote / Getty Images
Apart from Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s front line failed to live up to expectations, with the summer signing Diogo Jota as the only other forward to come out of the season with any real credit despite being only 19 times in the league for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The summer signing from Wolves did a good job of losing some of the goal burden while Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane fought for form, so the 90min last exclusive that Klopp once again wants to strengthen his front options with a quest for Watford’s Ismaila Sarr should probably come as no surprise.
The Senegal international’s preferred position to the right of a front three would mean he was in direct competition with Salah for a place in start XI.
However, he has proven on countless occasions to have the ability to cut in on his left side, as well as to be able to hit players along the wing, so adding him to the squad would give Klopp coverage on both the left and right of the front three.
Sarr’s ability to run on defense as well as stretch teams with runs behind is the type of game that has seen Liverpool thrive in recent times. And when Mane in particular failed to beat the heights from previous seasons, Klopp would be angry for not looking for an alternative.
The kid does not really have the powerful blast of pace or ability to turn past players like Mane, but he is not at all a slumber and when he has the ball at his feet he is a nightmare to defend against.
The only criticism you can make of Sarr if he seals a move to Anfield is that he has not yet really clocked up the kind of goal-scoring statistics needed if you are to cement your place in Liverpool’s top three.
Ismaila Sarr was the key to Watford’s campaign last season / Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
The 23-year-old’s best result so far is 13 while competing in the championship last season, and he has never scored more than eight in a top campaign.
But you just have to look at Jota to know that it should not be considered a reason for the Reds to turn their attention elsewhere.
Before joining the Merseysiders in September last year, the Portuguese scorer had a very similar goal scorer as Sarr in that his best season came in the championship where he hit 17 for Wolves. But after joining Liverpool, he looks like a much bigger goal threat now he plays with better players.
Not only did Sarr’s 13 come in fewer matches than Jota’s 17 in fact, the Portuguese international also played in a much better side when Wolves ran into riots during the 2017/18 championship season. When you think about how equal the pair’s record is and how big an impact Jota has made on Anfield, it does not look like Sarr is moving.
Senegalese forwards pose a completely different type of threat to both Salah and Mane, but that is not to say that he is not a brilliant player and having alternatives to the left and right of the top three can only be a positive forward.
With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez approaching comebacks from their long-term injuries and Ibrahima Konate’s signing already in the bag, Liverpool should have no worries defensively next season.
The only areas on the pitch that you can argue need to be strengthened are in midfield if Klopp wants to replace Georginio Wijnaldum – and even then he has the constantly advancing Curtis Jones and the returning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to turn to – and their front line.
Securing the signing of Sarr would give Klopp another option if Mane’s poor form continues or if Salah gets a similar dip, and at just 23 he is the perfect profile for a Liverpool signing.