Darwin Nunez has enjoyed a promising season for Liverpool after a difficult debut campaign on Merseyside, the Uruguayan having provided 18 goal contributions in 30 appearances for the Reds this term.
The former Benfica man has been much improved, but has still come under fire for some high-profile misses.
Nunez has been criticised for his lack of ruthlessness in front of goal, the South American having squandered some big chances this season in Liverpool red.
However, Jurgen Klopp's side have looked significantly better with Nunez in the team, the attacker causing defenders problems whenever he steps foot on the pitch.
His relentlessness has made him a difficult man to stop and Saunders, who scored 25 goals in 61 games for the Reds, believes that Nunez's energy and work ethic make him indispensable to Klopp.
"Strikers cost the most money and they usually get paid more than anyone else," said Saunders (via FourFourTwo). "Nunez is a case in point – he cost them £80m – and what you expect for that money is goals.
"Liverpool have the money to go and get someone else if you don't produce the goods. I scored 23 goals in my first season for Liverpool and guess what? They sold me!
"The pressure is on when you play for Liverpool. Going four games for Liverpool without a goal feels like an eternity when you're the centre-forward.
"He's getting chances but he's missing. Some players just have a knack for scoring and some just don't. His job is to turn those misses into goals, and quickly."
Saunders added: "There will be other strikers out there looking at Nunez thinking, 'How is he staying in the Liverpool team when he isn't scoring?'
"I'd tell them to look at his work rate and what else he brings to the team. Jurgen Klopp values that selfless aspect to his game.
"I remember when I was playing for Derby County, many years ago, I went nine games without scoring and the manager, Archie Knox, came up to me in training and said, 'Well done, Dean'. I was gobsmacked, wondering what the hell he was on about.
"But he told me I'd done well to keep getting picked despite not scoring. He was impressed with the other aspects of my game. That gave me that bit of confidence to start scoring again. It took the pressure away.
"Nunez needs to recognise his importance to this Liverpool team and the goals will come."
Nunez may not have got on the scoresheet in Liverpool's most recent outing, a 2-1 win at home to Fulham in the Carabao Cup, but his introduction from the bench completely changed the game.
The 24-year-old provided two assists after coming on at 1-0 down, his tireless pressing helping Liverpool find their mojo.
While the goals are not coming in huge numbers, he remains an integral part of Klopp's team.