Among the many hot topics currently being discussed by Liverpool supporters, the subject of strikers has assumed great significance this week.
Fernando Torres, of course, has been the subject of most conjecture; every bulletin that has appeared about his future have invoked either gasps of anxiety or sighs of relief and it is encouraging that Roy Hodgson said he has told Liverpool he is ready to return to work.
Clearly there have been issues to sort out with Torres this summer and club officials have worked overtime to persuade him to give it another season at Anfield rather than accepting the advances of either Manchester City or Chelsea.
The warning signs with Torres have been there for many months and it was back in January, remember, when he became the first person in the dressing room to break the silence and urge co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to financially back Rafa Benitez.
Torres is not concerned about personal gain and if he ever leaves Anfield, it would not be to obtain a more lucrative deal; he wants to play for a team that wins trophies – ditto Steven Gerrard – and it frustrates the Spaniard intensely that it has proved beyond Liverpool these last three years.
You would not find a Liverpool fan anywhere who wants to see Torres, whose 116 appearances have yielded 72 goals, seek pastures new but the club has to prepare for every eventuality in the knowledge that players will always come and go for a variety of reasons.
With this in mind, the previous regime brought in two youngsters who were seen as the future and both David Ngog and Daniel Pacheco have done much in recent weeks on foreign fields to enhance their reputations, as well as increasing their prospects under Hodgson.
In many ways, it is best to start with Ngog.
Scorer of both goals in Skopje on Thursday night as Liverpool eased past FC Rabotnicki, the Frenchman built on the encouraging start he has made to pre-season with his best performance of the summer.
Nonchalant in taking his first, clinical in rifling home his second, Ngog gave the impression he has spent time working on his game, as the movement he showed to reach Martin Kelly's pinpoint cross – feinting to go forward before peeling off his marker – was exemplary.
Similar to Lucas, Ngog has been a player who certain sections of supporters have only wanted to concentrate on finding negatives; as Lucas suffered because he was thrust into the position vacated by Xabi Alonso, so Ngog was derided because there was no Torres.
Now it is obvious the 21-year-old has much to learn – Daniel Agger made that point after the win in Macedonia – but he is not a player who will end up falling into a bracket reserved for failed strikers Sean Dundee, Erik Meijer and, dare we say, Robbie Keane.
He scored eight times last season and had he been English, there would have been a clamour for Ngog to go to the World Cup; the more he plays, the better he will become and his frame is definitely starting to fill out.
With France overhauling the squad that performed so disastrously in South Africa – Thierry Henry is retired, Nicolas Anelka has been exiled and Sidney Govou best days are behind him – it would not be a huge surprise if Ngog becomes a fixture with Les Bleus in the next 12 months.
What role he has to play under Hodgson remains to be seen but the Parisian has done his chances no harm in recent weeks and his new manager has absolutely no intention of letting Ngog depart to West Bromwich Albion.
Similar sentiments apply to Pacheco.
He has set the Under-19 European Championships alight and has been scoring for fun in a Spanish team that has oozed quality, bamboozling their opponents with that rhythmic passing game.
Real Sociedad want to take Pacheco back to La Liga but it would be a huge shame if the 19-year-old left because he felt frustrated; there might not be much of Pacheco but he is big on heart, has great talent and, just as importantly, is classed as homegrown this year.
Losing Torres would be a shattering blow but, in some ways, it is just as vital to hang on to Ngog and Pacheco; young goalscorers are few and far between and if they can continue their development on Merseyside, Liverpool will be all the better for it.