Mario Balotelli-Rickie Lambert
Rickie Lambert comes on as a second half substitute for Mario Balotelli for Liverpool against Everton.Getty

Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson believes Brendan Rodgers will sign a 'pacey striker' in the January transfer window.

The Reds saw their star player Luis Suarez leave earlier in the summer as the Uruguayan international joined Barcelona. The former Ajax man's departure has left a huge hole in the Merseyside club's squad.

Liverpool added Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert to their striker force, while Fabio Borini returned from his loan spell after the end of the last season. Apart from the trio, Rodgers has the services of Daniel Sturridge, who is on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

The former Liverpool defender believes Suarez's sale and Sturridge's injury have left the Anfield club with lack of options up front.

"I already believe Rodgers is going to have to make a move for a fast, pacey striker during the January transfer window, especially if Sturridge is going to miss chunks of the season through injury," Lawrenson told the Liverpool Echo.

"Mario Balotelli had a decent game but he is a big lump up front. He offers a different kind of threat. He doesn't have pace and he's never going to score 20 goals a season."

"Suarez and Sturridge scored bundles and bundles last season, and the latter needs to be fit sooner rather than later. He's the one player the Reds simply cannot afford to lose for any great length of time."

"Rodgers will be happy with how his team defended, and in Alberto Moreno they have somebody who has adapted to the physicality of the English game."

"Luis Suarez's influence on and off the field for Liverpool was great. And with Daniel Sturridge still out injured, it has only exacerbated the problem."

"When I was at Liverpool, Graeme Souness left who was a similar huge influence on the squad. It took us about a year to get over it and it could be the same with Suarez now," he added.

Liverpool dropped two points against Everton in the Merseyside derby after Steven Gerrard's freekick was cancelled by Phil Jagielka's stunning late goal. Lawrenson claims his former club deserved to win as he believes the Reds were a better side than their local rivals.

"Let's cut to the chase. Liverpool should have won yesterday. They were the better side without it ever being a great game, and Everton pinched a point with a real wonder strike," the Anfield favourite said.

"Brendan Rodgers will rightly take encouragement from the performance. It was an improvement on recent weeks, especially when you consider it was in a derby. But that the Reds weren't able to put the game to bed exposes the shortcomings that still remain."