May 17, 2021

‘The front three need breaking up’ – Carragher calls on Liverpool to end Salah, Mane & Firmino era

The Reds legend believes “something else” is needed in the final third at Anfield after enjoying so much success with a settled unit

Liverpool’s front three “need breaking up” this summer, claims Jamie Carragher, with the Reds legend looking for a memorable era of success for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to be brought to a close.

Speculation regarding comings and goings at Anfield is starting to build heading towards the summer window, with there plenty of rumours to be found regarding potential interest from across Europe in proven Premier League forwards.

Jurgen Klopp has offered no indication that he is open to offers, but Carragher believes the time has come for “something else” to be tried in the final third after seeing a serious step backwards taken on Merseyside this season.

What has been said?

Former Reds defender Carragher told Sky Sports: “People have talked about the forward line being out of form, but it’s been too long now for that [to be used as an argument].

“People keep talking about Liverpool’s problems at centre-back, but their biggest problem is at the other end of the pitch.

“We know that both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be back next season. Liverpool’s famous front three, and rightly so, are still there. 

“They’ve had the added bonus of Diogo Jota, who’s chipped in with a few goals, but I said this six months ago on Monday Night Football – the front three needed breaking up because no front three is ever together for this long.

“When you look at other great attacking partnerships and front threes from the past, they last probably three years and then you move on. Liverpool’s have been together for probably four or five years so it does need breaking up in the summer. 

“That’s where Liverpool need to invest, as they do at centre-back of course. It’s actually quite similar to Manchester United, but that’s where Liverpool need to spend the money.

“The front three have been amazing but it’s just at that stage now where it needs something else and it must be rectified in the summer when you think of the chances that have been missed this season. 

“You have to move with the times, and an extra bit of competition up front wouldn’t go amiss.”

How have Liverpool’s front three fared this season?

Questions have never been far away from the Reds’ star-studded squad in 2020-21, with uncharacteristic struggles for consistency leading to regression that few saw coming.

Injuries have done little to help the collective cause, but there is no escaping the fact that standards have slipped for those that helped to deliver Champions League, Club World Cup and Premier League crowns to Anfield.

Egyptian star Salah has continued to shine, with a 29-goal haul across all competitions seeing him break more records and remain in contention for a third Golden Boot.

Mane has failed to keep pace with a friendly rival, with the Senegalese forward mustering just 13 goals this term – with only eight of those coming in the English top flight.

Firmino has fared even worse, with the hard-working Brazilian finding the target just six times in total.

Jota has made an impressive impact on the back of his 2020 arrival from Wolves, with the net found on 12 occasions, but Liverpool have misfired far too frequently.

Klopp may seek to address those issues by moving players in and out this summer, with Liverpool already being linked with Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic and PSV frontman Donyell Malen.

Further reading