At 17, Raheem Sterling will make any Liverpool player look old, but Brendan Rodgers does have an ace up his sleeve.. or maybe two.
Days after issuing a ‘let’s man up and live with one striker’ statement, aimed at both, Liverpool fans and players, Rodgers is desperately awaiting the return of two players that could make his nightmare start turn into a dream.
Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi was declared unfit for the weekend’s clash between his team Morocco and Mozambique in the first leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final qualifying round.
That can only be good news for Rodgers as that means Assaidi gets enough recovery time to make his start for Liverpool.
The 24-year-old, a £3 million signing from Heerenveen, is perhaps the key to Anfield’s hope of having more options up front and taking the pressure of Luis Suarez as the lone striker.
Assaidi has the speed and the touch, but he will still have to prove himself a finisher in the Premier League.
Rodgers’ other great hope is Joe Cole.
Cole, 30, has been out of action since pulling up during the 3-0 opening day defeat at West Brom on August 18.
The England international, who returned to Anfield in the summer after a season's loan with French club Lille, is back in training though.
The manager told Liverpool's official website: "Joe is working well and the medical department are pleased with his progress.
“He was out onto the pitch over the weekend doing some work so there's still a little way to go with Joe yet but he's on the right track."
Both Assaidi and Cole can operate on the wings and that will the Liverpool attack some much needed width, stretching defenses to open spaces for the likes of Borini, Suarez and even Gerrard.
Maybe the tiki-taka revolution can work, though a September 15 test at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light will be as stern as any.
Fail there again and the Kop might not be impressed with fancy passing anymore.