Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have been referring to his own recent experience leading the Liverpool attack. And Liverpool are still no nearer to discovering who can best deputise for the Brazilian in the number nine function, let alone prove his long-lasting replacement under Jurgen Klopp and beyond.
With Firmino having actually missed the majority of Liverpools pre-season training camp – he, along with compatriots Fabinho and Alisson Becker, arrived in Evian on Sunday – both Minamino and Oxlade-Chamberlain have actually been tried in the number 9 position in current friendlies.
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That has long shown a problem for Liverpool in the transfer market, with each summertime window triggering speculation of a brand-new forward arrival just for perennial concerns to end up being glaringly apparent. Divock Origis time at Liverpool appears coming to an end, while young strikers Dominic Solanke and Rhian Brewster have actually long given that left for considerable charges. With Firmino having actually missed out on the majority of Liverpools pre-season training camp – he, along with compatriots Fabinho and Alisson Becker, arrived in Evian on Sunday – both Minamino and Oxlade-Chamberlain have actually been attempted in the number 9 position in current friendlies.
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Get all the latest Liverpool breaking news, group news, transfer rumours, injury updates plus analysis of whats next for the Reds. There is a growing viewpoint Firmino might ultimately drop into a slightly much deeper function in an attacking midfield position – as he has actually periodically done previously when Liverpool have changed from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 – thus offering an opening for a main striker.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might have been referring to his own recent experience leading the Liverpool attack. The Bobby in concern is, of course, Roberto Firmino. And Liverpool are still no nearer to finding who can best deputise for the Brazilian in the number nine role, let alone prove his long-lasting replacement under Jurgen Klopp and beyond.
While each scored in Thursdays 4-3 defeat to Hertha Berlin, the latter appeared the more efficient albeit while playing for one of the most part along with a much-changed team. Minamino had Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane either side of him during the very first half, but mostly underwhelmed. Firminos fluctuating form over the last 18 months has unquestionably been an issue. It was significant he enhanced considerably throughout the closing weeks of last season, contributing three objectives and two helps in the final five video games as Liverpool effectively went after down Champions League qualification, and likewise skippered the side in the unforgettable win at West Bromwich Albion. That the forward has actually started 77 of the last 86 Premier League matches highlights just how reliant Liverpool remain on his distinct skillset. There is a growing viewpoint Firmino might ultimately drop into a slightly much deeper role in an attacking midfield position – as he has sometimes done formerly when Liverpool have actually switched from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 – therefore supplying an opening for a main striker. That, though, emphasises even more the need for another number 9. Liverpool are keeping tabs on a number of forwards, with Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United amongst those on the shortlist.
The profile of gamer they ideally want is very specific. Not too old, however reasonably established. Potential to enhance, however sufficient to challenge the present team. Ideally flexible, but potent down the centre. And, naturally, prepared to accept they will not quickly be amongst the given names on the teamsheet. That will not come cheap. Funds are readily available – and will increase with additional gamer sales in the coming weeks – but it could be that Liverpool wont just spend for the sake of it if the best target doesnt appear. It might end up being next year before that happens, for this reason Klopp already trying alternatives in the Firmino role. While hardly past it as he approaches his 30th birthday in October, Firmino himself would certainly benefit from more opportunities to be rested having seldom had time to step off the conveyor belt in current seasons. As has actually been the case for several years now, discovering anyone remotely like the Brazilian is proving no simple job for Liverpool. Do you want an exclusive pre-season Liverpool preview – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to discover more and protect your copy