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ROBBIE FOWLER: It sounds mad, but my cure for striker issues stopping a Liverpool title challenge? Sign Lukaku

Date Posted,April 29, 2017

I’ve got a solution for Liverpool ’s problems that will turn them into genuine title ­contenders… but Everton won’t like it!

BUY ROMELU LUKAKU .

There, I’ve said it.

Let’s face it, he is leaving in the ­summer and Jurgen Klopp needs a proper striker to lead his line if he’s going to win the Premier League.

I have a theory that Bayern Munich will try to sign Lukaku in the summer – after selling Robert Lewandowski to Real Madrid.

But if he’s leaving ­Goodison, why not move to ­Anfield?

The Reds have struggled tactically against lesser teams, who put banks of defenders behind the ball and invite opponents to find space that isn’t there. They are fine against the top-six teams because they come and try to win, which is perfect for the sort of movement Liverpool’s current ­forward line creates.

Boss Klopp has watched Liverpool huff and puff against lesser sides who park the bus (Photo: REUTERS)

Liverpool have a front three without an out-and-out centre-forward and, when they interchange with skill and vision, it can be too much for even the best teams. But, in so many other games, they have struggled to find a way through when opponents have parked the bus.

Crystal Palace last week was a ­perfect example – lines sitting deep, no space for the full-backs to get wide or the front three to drift into.

When that happens, the Liverpool forwards come deeper and deeper looking for the ball. At times in that game, I thought Philippe Coutinho had lost a fiver on the halfway line ­because he was forced so deep.

I accept I’m a striker who always thinks a focal point is better for a team.

A genuine striker like Lukaku would ask questions Liverpool currently can’t (Photo: Getty)

Manchester United and ­City, Chelsea and Spurs have that ­central striker who can ask ­different questions of the smaller clubs.

Chelsea have been magnificent at it, and Diego Costa has played a ­massive role. They know that around two-thirds of the Premier League games will be against sides with a negative mindset and ­formation.

With Costa, with Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, even Zlatan Ibrahimovic, you can be patient and ask the central striker to keep pushing up against the defensive back line, to get off the shoulder in just a yard of space.

How many goals have Costa and Kane scored like that to win matches? How many times have Liverpool done the same?

I based my career on the fact that defenders hate to see a striker drift into that space behind them. They love it when the ­forward drops to the halfway line.

Anfield legend Fowler knows the sort of strikers that defenders hate facing most (Photo: Allsport)

Lukaku doesn’t have quite the ­attributes to play the pressing game ­demanded by Klopp, but he does stay up there and asks ­constant questions of teams who ­defend deep.

I’ve watched Liverpool closely and, at times, it has been painful because it ­reminds me of 1996 and 1997 when we were challenging for the title but got bogged down against the lesser teams.

In ’96, we lost at Coventry, at ­Forest, at Middlesbrough and at Wimbledon.

The following season, it was even worse – we were beaten at home to Coventry, at ­Wimbledon again and Sheffield Wednesday.

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