Liverpool's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures
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Jurgen Klopp should cash in on Liverpool fan favourite Roberto Firmino following the ‘big statement signing’ of Darwin Nunez. That is the view of talkSPORT commentator Gabby Agbonlahor, who believes the Brazil international is ‘not good enough’ for the Reds anymore.
Firmino has established himself as a cult hero at Anfield since arriving from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in 2015 under Brendan Rodgers. The forward is just two goals shy of a century on Merseyside, and was an integral member of the original attacking trio alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
The Brazilian played his part in ending Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a top-flight title with their maiden Premier League trophy in 2020, while also helping the club to three Champions League finals. However, injury limited the 30-year-old’s impact last season, with the attacker registering 11 goals and five assists from 35 appearances.
Diogo Jota and January sensation Luis Diaz have both seemingly forced their way above Firmino in the pecking order. The summer arrival of Nunez in a deal which could rise to a club-record fee is the latest sign that the era of Liverpool’s famous front three is drawing to a close.
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Mane is expected to leave this summer with the Senegal international heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich. The former Southampton star is said to be keen on a new challenge, and has one year left on his deal at Liverpool.
Salah is also facing an uncertain future, with the Ballon d’Or contender yet to agree to a new contract despite negotiations. The Egypt superstar has publicly ruled out leaving the Reds before the end of his deal, but reports suggest a switch to Barcelona or a Premier League rival could be on the cards next summer.
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Firmino made just 20 Premier League appearances last term, and it is the first time he has made less than 30 top-flight appearances in a single season since signing for Liverpool. The Brazil striker has outlined his wish to stay at Anfield, but could find himself reduced to a squad role following the arrival of Nunez.
The Uruguay international was one of the most coveted strikers in Europe following a breakout campaign with Benfica, and the 34-goal star is capable of playing through the middle or on the left. Agbonlahor believes it was a transfer Liverpool had to make following Manchester City’s move for Erling Haaland, and the former Aston Villa striker believes it is now time for Klopp to say goodbye to Firmino.
He told Football Insider: “They needed to do it. Regardless of whether Mane stays or goes, they needed another attacker. Firmino is not good enough. He’s done well for Liverpool over the years but it’s time for him to go.
“You’ve got to keep up with other teams, you can’t stay still. It’s a big statement signing. I’m sure Man City were buzzing when they signed Haaland and now they’ve seen Liverpool get Nunez they will think it’s going to be a hard season and it’s hard to call.”
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