16 apps, 14 goals: Colombia international a must-buy for Liverpool in January

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Recent speculation suggests Liverpool could target Porto's Jackson Martinez in a bid to solve the club's goal scoring crisis.

Brendan Rodgers's Liverpool have made a disappointing start to the 2014-15 campaign, failing to build on their epic achievements of the previous campaign. 

After spending heavily during the summer transfer window, and with positive results proving hard to come by, the club have come under fire for their performances both in the Premier League and the Champions League.

The club are still suffering following the loss of last season's top scorer Luis Suarez, while the absence of Daniel Sturridge, who is unavailable due to injury, has also proven costly.

Last season the duo scored 52 league goals between them, as the Reds became one of only three teams in Premier League history to score over 100 goals in a single domestic campaign. 

Having scored just 19 goals in 15 appearances, compared to the 34 managed at the same stage last term, it's clear to see where the problems lie. 

  GoalsTotal Shots per MatchMatches Played
Liverpool 19 14.4 15

Despite the early addition of Rickie Lambert, the sale of Suarez to Barcelona for £75 million left the Reds short in attack.

Rodgers opted for the risky, quick-fix option, acquiring former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli for a mere £16 million.

A master-stroke? No. The Italian forward has failed to live up to his potential, and having failed to score or register a single Premier League assist in nine appearances, the club are back to square one - in desperate need of firepower in the final third. 

According to recent reports, the Reds are preparing a £27.5 million move for Porto's Jackson Martinez - a player who is currently being courted by a number of high profile European clubs, including league rivals Tottenham and Arsenal. 

The Portuguese outfit are reportedly only willing to sell their in-form striker should they receive his release clause, but with Liverpool in the market for a new striker, this is a price Rodgers will be willing to pay. 

Martinez combines pace and athleticism - traits only Sturridge can currently provide to the Liverpool frontline - while he has proven himself a clinical finisher with either foot, or in the air.

The Portuguese top-flight is by no means as strong as the Premier League, but the Colombian has proven his ability at every level he has ever played at.

Having scored 10 goals in 12 Liga Sagres appearances this term, while notching an impressive five times in four Champions League starts (five appearances), his goal scoring ability is unquestionable. 

  TeamGoalsTotal Shots/ AppShot Accuracy (%)Conversion Rate (%)Big Chance Missed/ AppKey Passes/ AppAppsMins
Jackson Martínez Porto 5 3.8 37 26 0.8 0.4 5 358

A powerful force in attack, the Porto man has averaged 3.8 shots per game in Europe's elite competition, while winning 2.6 aerial duels on average. 

Martinez has also displayed his tenacity when his side are not in possession, completing the joint-second-highest number of tackles for forwards this season (7).

His impressive work-rate would see him become an instant fan favourite at Anfield - a status Mario Balotelli has so far been unable to achieve. 

At 28 years ago, there will be concerns regarding Martinez's age. Nonetheless, Manchester United's 2012 summer acquisition of Robin van Persie is proof in the pudding that a £30 million investment can pay its dividends, even just for a single season.

The Dutchman handedly fired the Red Devils to the Premier League title in his debut campaign, scoring an impressive 26 goals in 38 appearances. Many would argue he has offered relatively little since.

Liverpool need to qualify for the Champions League again this term, as to avoid the club going backwards. If Martinez can have the desired impact, even for just one or two seasons, then he will have proven a worthwhile investment. 

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