Brendan Rodgers
Will Brendan Rodgers be able to find a replacement for Luis Suarez or will Liverpool's current crop step up and perform next season?Getty Images

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol believes the Reds will struggle to finish among the top four in the Premier League next season, if they do not sign a striker to replace Luis Suarez.

Brendan Rodgers' side were powered by the Uruguayan international's record-equalling 31 goals as they finished second in the league table last campaign, two points behind champions Manchester City.

Liverpool have signed Rickie Lambert and Divock Origi but the Belgian starlet has been sent back to Lille on a season-long loan, leaving the goal-scoring burden on Daniel Sturridge.

Although the 24-year-old has claimed that he will handle the responsibility, Nicol feels that an injury to the England international will not only derail their title hopes but also their chances of securing Champions League spots.

"Without another striker though, in case he gets injured, they are up the creek without a paddle. There isn't another striker currently at the club that is going to take them into the top four, never mind challenge for the Premier League title," Nicol told talkSPORT.

"If they don't sign another centre-forward they'll struggle to get back into the top four. You can't expect Daniel Sturridge to do it all on his own. He's shown he can play up front, score goals and carry the team for a certain amount of time."

Liverpool were believed to be nearing a move for Queens Park Rangers' Loic Remy but the 27-year-old's transfer to Anfield reportedly collapsed due to medical failure.

Nicol points out that Rodgers will be unable to find anyone in the same mould as that of the French international and feels that the Merseyside club will struggle if they don't bring in Suarez' replacement before the transfer deadline on 1 September.

"Liverpool are in trouble. There doesn't seem to be anybody available who has Loic Remy's track record. It's bad news for Liverpool more than anyone else. Remy is going to go back to QPR and he's going to score goals," the 52-year-old added.

"Harry Redknapp is the one who is going to benefit. They have to find somebody and I'm not sure where they're going to find them."