John Aldridge has warned Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) they’ll lose the backing of the fan-base if they do not provide Jurgen Klopp with a summer war chest.
And the former Kop striker has called on the Reds to use Steven Gerrard as a ‘salesman’ in their bid to prise Jude Bellingham to Anfield.
Liverpool have endured an underwhelming 2022-23 season and crashed out of the Champions League last week at the hands of Real Madrid. The Reds also face a battle to finish in the Premier League top four and currently trail Tottenham by seven points.
Klopp has admitted that Liverpool have to bring in reinforcements summer transfer window - with midfield the area that most agree needs the most attention.
Bellingham has been the Reds’ top target for some time. However, the Borussia Dortmund teenager is expected to cost more than £100 million and The Athletic reports that Manchester City and Real Madrid are in stronger positions to land his services.
Aldridge, writing for Sunday World, reckons that Anfield icon Gerrard should be given a role of selling the Liverpool dream to Bellingham. And if FSG do not splash the cash, they could lose the backing of supporters.
Aldridge said: “Liverpool’s reset moment has arrived - and Steven Gerrard can play a central role in what happens next. I'm not suggesting for a second that Gerrard should take over from Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, even if that is a scenario that could happen in the future.
“What I am advocating is that Gerrard could be used as the salesman-in-chief in Liverpool's pursuit of England midfielder Jude Bellingham. Reports in recent days suggest Liverpool have been given permission to try and finalise a deal for Bellingham and while he will not come cheap, this is what they need to do now.
“I stated in my Sunday World column a few weeks ago that Liverpool's owners will come under pressure to make some statements this summer. If the Americans in charge at Anfield don't give Klopp the money he needs to reboot a squad that is badly in need of a makeover, they are in danger of losing the support of the supporters.
“After months of speculation, Bellingham is clearly at the top of the wanted list and while he might look at this team this season and offer a polite no, it seems there is more to this deal. If the reports are accurate, Bellingham and his family are all Liverpool fans and Gerrard was the idol for this young midfielder when he was growing up. So Liverpool would be wise to get Stevie in on this deal as his voice may be massive in persuading Bellingham to sign.
“This 19-year-old will have his pick of clubs this summer, with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City all rumoured to be in the mix. They will all be ready to offer Bellingham more money than Liverpool, but it isn't always about cash. When you have a dream to play for a club and your idol is standing in front of you asking you to follow in his footsteps, it can have a big impact. So Liverpool need to get Gerrard involved in the Bellingham talks, let him know that he is a Liverpool captain in the making and this great club can be his stage of the next decade.”