Liverpool legend John Aldridge says the Reds are "not good enough" to make the top four as he claimed Jurgen Klopp "doesn't have the answers" with his current group of players.
Klopp's side suffered a serious dent to their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League when Joe Willock struck a last-gasp equaliser for Newcastle on Saturday.
The 1-1 draw at Anfield left Liverpool four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with West Ham also standing in the way of a top-four spot going into the final five rounds of Premier League fixtures.
Aldridge singled out Roberto Firmino for particular criticism following the game – and says the club need to spend big this summer and sign a striker of the calibre of Erling Haaland.
"Liverpool's top-four rivals presented them with a chance to get back in the mix to qualify for next season’s Champions League – but they confirmed yesterday that they are not good enough to take it," wrote the former Reds striker in his column for Sunday World.
Mohamed Salah had struck early for the Reds, but failed to take any more of their chances and were punished when on-loan Arsenal man Willock levelled the score in the dying moments of added time.
"You look at Salah, Mane and, especially, Firmino and wonder whether they can get back to their brilliant best," said Aldridge.
"I have said before that Firmino is no longer producing the goods to justify his place in the team. If ever a game highlighted Liverpool’s desperation to sign a top-quality goalscorer, we saw it yesterday.
"Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland would be the player I would go after this summer, but we don’t know whether Liverpool could get close to paying for that transfer unless they sell Salah or one of their other big stars."
Aldridge added: "This isn’t a blip in form, a loss of form for a few players. It is much more than that – and Klopp doesn’t seem to have the answers with this set of players any more."
Liverpool are away to Manchester United next Sunday as they try to revive their top-four hopes.
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