Tony Cascarino has claimed that Roberto Firmino will be the first to leave Liverpool between Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, as he told talkSPORT (19/09/21 at 7:15 am).
Liverpool’s quick-footed player has only played 80 minutes of football this season because of injury, but did score against Norwich on the opening weekend.
But in his absence, Jurgen Klopp still has his deadly goalscoring duo Mane and Salah smashing records, including the 2020 summer signing, Diogo Jota providing that added threat.
Firmino has two years left on his current Anfield deal and many felt that Klopp needed another option up front this summer, especially with their title rivals boosting their attacking areas.
FSG opted to go down the road of handing new deals to Liverpool players, including the likes of Alisson Becker, Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson, to name a few – but not someone like Firmino or Salah.
Cascarino shared his thoughts on Liverpool’s forward line and how Jota’s arrival last summer may have ‘bizarrely’ upset the connection the original trio had with one another.
“All three of them, Firmino, Salah and Mane have played a high level of football, over a number of seasons,” said Cascarino.
“It was who was going to have the knock-on season. I would say Firmino didn’t have the season we know he is capable of – Salah was the best of the three last season.
“Maybe Jota coming into the club upset the dynamics of the three in some bizarre way because Jurgen played him, at times. He came in and hit the ground running.
“Certainly one will go, it will be who will be the first one to go? At this moment in time, it looks like Firmino.”
Like a number of Liverpool players last season, Firmino went through a number of tricky periods, as the Reds were savaged by injuries.
At one point, it was only Salah hitting the back of the net on a regular basis because it seemed as though he was the only one unaffected by everything that was happening around him.
Firmino netted nine Premier League goals last season, including supplying seven assists (transfermarkt), it was the £29 million Liverpool star’s (BBC Sport) joint-lowest return since moving to England.
But whilst many look at Firmino’s goalscoring ability, it’s obvious to many that it’s his all-round game that makes him a top-quality performer.
His ability to pick up space, knit Liverpool’s attack together, play with speed in the final third and be that unselfish player that allows others around him to thrive.