Trevor Francis believes Liverpool’s summer transfer activity is far from over following the £20million signing of Dejan Lovren.
The Southampton defender has become Brendan Rodgers’ fifth major signing of the summer after the arrivals of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Lezar Markovic and Emre Can, with Luis Suarez’s £75million sale to Barcelona the only significant outgoing.
A deal to sign Loic Remy from QPR fell through over the weekend due to issues over the striker’s medical and Francis reckons the club need to boost their forward options before their opening game of the season against Southampton on August 17.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Olympiakos in the International Champions Cup, the Sky Sports pundit said: “Brendan Rodgers will tell you that the squad is stronger, deeper and he has more quality there, but I think most Liverpool supporters will be concerned about taking 32 goals out of the team.
“To replace that is extremely difficult. You have to find ways of making sure you get enough goals to be challenging for every competition.
“A player like Suarez was such an influential player, such an outstanding individual, and rarely do these players come along in English football.
“When they do you have to make sure you do everything to keep them at the football club, but because of circumstances he had to go. He will be a big loss because he’d be up there among the best three or four strikers in world football.
“They are certainly looking to strengthen and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or two more come in during the next three or four weeks.
“They weren’t involved in Europe last year and obviously Brendan Rodgers felt that the squad last year wasn’t strong enough in numbers, but more importantly in quality. Now he’s bringing much more quality into the squad.
“There’s more to come maybe, but also I think one or two to go out because they’ve got six central defenders on their books, which is too many when you include the arrival of Lovren.”
Liverpool’s next game in the International Champions Cup sees them face Manchester City on Wednesday evening, in a meeting of the Premier League’s top two from last season.
City have brought in the likes of Fernando, Willy Caballero, Bruno Zuculini and Bacary Sagna this summer, but Francis believes those are all merely squad players and Manuel Pellegrini’s big summer signing is still to be confirmed.
“There’s one that’s pending, Eliaquim Mangala the Porto player, and that’s going to be between £30million and £35million,” he added.
“He will come in alongside Vincent Kompany and that will give them stability at the heart of the defence.
“Having said that, I thought Martín Demichelis in the second half of last season was excellent and did a similar job for Argentina in the World Cup.
“I think they look strong again. Of those already signed I would say none of them are starters, but if Mangala signs next week, which we expect him to, then he will play alongside Kompany.”
See Liverpool play Manchester City in the International Champions Cup from Wednesday midnight live only on Sky Sports 1.