Jurgen Klopp has been told Liverpool must make an impact in the Champions League this season as their hopes of challenging for the title are already over.
After ten games of the 2017-18 Premier League season, Liverpool are sixth in the table, 12 points behind the impressive Manchester City.
The Reds have won less than half of their league fixtures, conceding 16 goals in the process, and John Aldridge says the club must impress in the Champions League to save their season.
‘It goes without saying that this is a must-win game as Liverpool have to try and top their Champions League group,’ the former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland striker said in a column for the Independent.ie.
‘They need to avoid the big hitters in the first round of knock-out matches and see if they can have a decent run in the competition.
‘The reality is they are already out of the Premier League title race and Klopp needs a good run in Europe and a top four finish to revive a season that has gone pretty badly wrong up to this point.’
Aldridge also questioned whether Daniel Sturridge was a player Klopp could rely on for the remainder of the season due to his reoccurring injury problems.
The England international scored his 100th career goal in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Anfield.
‘I said all summer that Liverpool should have gone all out to sign a proven striker and yet Klopp did not seem to prioritise that area, which has come back to haunt him in a big way in recent weeks,’ Aldridge added.
‘Sturridge looked good in pre-season and Klopp might have hoped he could get enough out of him if he managed him correctly, yet that has proved to be a misguided belief as we have seen a lack of firepower in the central striking role for Liverpool.
‘Maybe Sturridge can now start to rebuild his confidence after his fine goal at the weekend and clearly Klopp has decided to be careful in the way he manages him after all the fitness problems in recent years.
‘Sturridge is still a very good striker, but I would be worried that he will not be fit enough for long enough to be relied upon this season and that loss of attacking pace would also be a concern for me.’