Ezequiel Lavezzi-Edinson Cavani
Brendan Rodgers urged to sign by Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani by Phil ThompsonGetty

Liverpool legend Phil Thompson has urged Brendan Rodgers to sign world class strikers in the summer as a cover for Daniel Sturridge.

The England international picked up an injury last September while on international duty. He spent more time on the sidelines and started his first game in March which resulted in a 2-0 victory over Burnley.

The Northern Irishman has Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini, who have all struggled to get regular playing time this term. Burnley striker Danny Ings has been linked with a move to Anfield at the end of the season.

The former Liverpool midfielder believes the Reds should sign Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi or Edinson Cavani to bolster their attacking division in order to become genuine title contenders.

"Sturridge's latest injury confirms that you cannot rely on him throughout the course of a season and Liverpool need suitable cover for him," Thompson told Sky Sports.

"It's always been the way for Sturridge, he's proving quite fragile and we might not see the best of him until next season now.

"Burnley's Danny Ings doesn't have the experience to carry that weight and I think Brendan Rodgers needs to bring in a more established striker.

"Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani or somebody of that ilk is required, which means Liverpool are going to have to spend big to be considered title contenders next season."

Liverpool suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United at Anfield, followed by a 4-1 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates. This has dented the Merseyside club's hopes of finishing the season in the top four.

Thompson believes his former club needs to overhaul the striking options and says Rodgers needs to offload Balotelli, Lambert and Borini in the summer.

"There will be quite a few offloaded and Rodgers might have a bit of a clear out. I think it will be very difficult for Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini to remain and, whether the club want to move them on or not, I think they're going to want to seek pastures new," the Anfield favourite said.