Bayern Munich reportedly want Roberto Firmino but any sale would cause incredible complications at Liverpool.
Journalist Ian McGarry recently told the Transfer Window Podcast that Bayern made contact with Firmino. They apparently want to know if he’s keen on a move – but he’s not the one who’ll take convincing.
Liverpool have no real reason to sell, in short. Because Firmino isn’t just a great player, he’s a fundamental part of the system.
In fact, selling him wouldn’t just mean finding a replacement but reconsidering the entire tactical setup. Firmino is that important.
For instance, Firmino is the creativity in the middle of the pitch. He’s got seven Premier League assists this season – the joint-fourth most. Liverpool don’t get them from the midfield, they get them from Firmino.
But he’s also a match-winner, contributing directly to 15 points and a trophy this season. Just replacing those numbers is incredibly difficult. And that’s without even mentioning his tireless defensive work.
And then there’s the effect on the rest of the team. Firmino links the midfield to the attack, allowing the midfield to focus more on control and defensive work. That, in turn, means the full-backs can focus on attacking high up the pitch.
Swap Firmino out and suddenly the midfield need to link to the attack. The full-backs need to operate with less cover.
Then there’s the front-three. Firmino’s movement leaves the space for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to attack. If he doesn’t do that, they’re stuck out wide a lot more.
And so Firmino is far more than just an individual. He’s arguably the most irreplaceable figure in the team. Look at Salah, for instance.
Salah is brilliant but his style is fairly standard for a winger. You could easily find a player who isn’t as good but can swap in without upsetting the rest of the team.
That’s not the case with Firmino and that’s why any sale would create enormous complications. Finding a player who can offer all of this is a near-impossible task – if that player existed, Bayern would be after him, instead.