Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has made an extraordinary claim regarding Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino following reports linking the Brazil international with a potential move away from Anfield.
Reports on Monday suggested Bayern Munich are plotting an audacious £75m [Daily Mail] move for Firmino who is currently on course to claim his first Premier League title.
Firmino, 28, has been an irreplaceable figure once again for Liverpool in the Brazilian’s fifth season at the home of the European champions. The Reds’ No.9 has featured more under Jurgen Klopp than any other player since the German boss took the role as manager in 2015.
The former Hoffenheim striker has already clocked up 228 appearances for the Reds since the club signed Firmino from Hoffenheim for £29m [BBC Sport] in June 2015. His return this campaign has seen the former Bundesliga talisman register 36 appearances for Liverpool scoring 10 goals whilst registering 12 assists.
Liverpool have lost key players in the past to some of Europe’s heavy-hitters with the likes of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutino all seeking Anfield exits in previous years. However, Muphy believes the Premier League champions-elect could cope just fine if Liverpool did opt to sell Firmino.
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“[Virgil] van Dijk is the most irreplaceable one,” Murphy said on talkSPORT’s White and Sawyer show. “Could you get in another striker for Liverpool who scores as many goals as Firmino? Yes.
“Would they make as many assists as Firmino and make the cohesion of the team so good? Maybe not, but there are players out there.
“I don’t think you could give me any name that would come in and be able to do what Van Dijk does. No name you could give me.
“Firmino is a beautiful compliment for the Liverpool system and the way the two wingers play, and as a three they are tremendous with what they have achieved.
“No one is like Firmino; he’s quite exceptional and unique and he’s a wonderful player.
“But if he were to leave it would be a bit like when Kevin Keegan left and who was going to replace him… and Kenny Dalglish came in.
“Luis Suarez left and they got [Mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane and Firmino. Firmino is well loved as Suarez was. [Ian] Rush left and [John] Aldridge came in and scored loads of goals.
“Football does move on if someone leaves. Is he replaceable? Yes. Anybody is, but it would change the dynamic.”
The former England international also identified who he believes would be the perfect replacement to slot into Liverpool’s devastating attacking triumvirate.
He added: “If Liverpool were to lose Firmino and go and get [Kylian] Mbappe, would that be a more scary front three? Would he complement the other two as much?
“It is a debate and no one can give me a fact.
“I think if Mbappe was playing up front with Mane and Salah, it would be more scary than playing with Firmino, Mane and Salah.
“I’m not belittling what Firmino has done, I think he’s a wonderful footballer.”
What RTK has to say
Whilst there is some truth in what Murphy has said, the reality is that a club like Liverpool cannot even contemplate offloading any of their greatest assets to other European competitors if they are to remian the dominant force they are today.
Klopp and FSG have meticulously developed a strategy in the transfer window that has allowed the club to turn hidden gems into global superstars. Liverpool’s stock has never been higher financially as well as their prospects of silverware on a yearly basis.
Every member of Klopp’s world-conquering squad is ‘irreplaceable’ with each cog proving just as important as the other. Liverpool have taken the long-route to unparalleled domestic domination, they are not about to let anyone else usurp them from their perch.