Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has encouraged current manager Brendan Rodgers to forget about signing young players and instead bring in an experienced defender with a physical presence.

Rodgers was extremely critical of his young charges in the 3-2 defeat to Oldham in the FA Cup and Aldridge believes that it is time Liverpool started to recruit players with more Premier League experience.

Sebastian Coates
Sebastian Coates is dominated in the air by Matt Smith as Oldham upset Liverpool in the FA Cup [Reuters]

"I don't think the balance is right as we need more players who are in their prime," Aldridge wrote in his column in the Liverpool Echo.

"It's no coincidence that in physical games against Stoke and Oldham we've really struggled this season."

Liverpool suffered a 3-1 defeat to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium earlier this season as Kenwyne Jones excelled in attack, while it was another physical striker in Matt Smith who exploited the Reds' leaky defence at Oldham on Sunday.

Despite seemingly struggling against big and powerful forwards, Liverpool have not brought in another defender and have instead opted to reinforce their attack by recruiting Daniel Sturridge, while Philippe Coutinho, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder, is currently in the process of signing for the club.

Aldridge feels there is a lack of fight in the side that must be addressed before the transfer window shuts on Thursday evening.

"When you need to stand up and be counted, we've wilted. The spine of the side hasn't been strong enough and that's something the manager has to attend to," added Aldridge.

"When Steven Gerrard came on against Oldham his experience shone through. We looked a much better side and Steven was by far the best player on the park.

"Investing in youth is fine but you need experienced players around them to help their development and get the best out of them."

Liverpool can call on Gerrard and Jamie Carragher for experience, but the rest of the squad remains relatively young and Rodgers has often fielded a side with an average age of under 24.