Liverpool ‘need to buy’ a new centre-forward to replace the Brazilian star Roberto Firmino this summer transfer market, according to The Athletic‘s James Pearce.

The 29-year-old striker is completely off the boil this campaign, scoring just six Premier League goals – just one in his last 14 games, across all competitions – and struggling in his all-round game.

Roberto was again ineffective in last weekend’s 2-0 loss at home to Everton, fluffing his lines terribly with one shot that flew into the Kop end.

James has described the South American as a ‘spluttering’ influence on this Reds team, adding that the Anfield side ‘need someone capable of running in behind and getting on the end of crosses’.

He is spot on in his assessment, with Roberto genuinely looking like a weak-link the latest weeks.

That is a painful admission, given what a great player he has been for the club, but Firmino is such a focal point that his shortcomings are affecting Liverpool.

He can still be an excellent roster player for years to come, but his time as an important starter every week appears to be coming to an end.

The former Hoffenheim star has been ineffective for too long now, and while fatigue is clearly playing a part Firmino simply looks past his best.

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham are hoping to convince Lille’s Dutch defender Sven Botman to join them over Jurgen Klopp’s team, reports say.

The 21-year-old has been in fine form for Les Dogues this term, which has earned him links with a host of heavyweight clubs across the continent.

Liverpool are among the clubs to have been tipped to swoop for Botman in the January window, but an approach for the defender did not materialise.

France Football reports that Spurs also hold an interest in the player, who is understood to be valued at around £40 million.