John Barnes: Liverpool need better attacking players

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John Barnes may be a mutually-admired Liverpool legend on Merseyside, but is unlikely to convince the majority with his latest comments on the club’s attacking stars.

The Anfield favourite has somewhat defied the current consensus by quashing the ability of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to maintain their goal-scoring form.

Barnes insists the Reds must further strengthen their attacking ranks if they wish to continue progressing under Jurgen Klopp.

“They need better all-round players,” Barnes said, as reported by the Liverpool Echo. 

“The front-three are great, but I don’t feel that they are necessarily going to continue to do this for the next two or three years.”


“Salah is not a centre forward, I don’t think he is a player who can score goals consistently over a period of time. We don’t have players like that.”

“We have players like Salah and Mane and, although Mane scored a hat-trick against Porto, they are not out-and-out goalscorers.”

Sadio Mane – Image by

Barnes did, however, allude to an interesting transition for Firmino into a deeper playmaking role given his already-natural tendency to drift across the front line.

“So, as funny as it may seem, I think they could get a centre forward, a penalty-box player, and play Firmino slightly deeper,” Barnes added.

At this rate, it will take some signing to shift the Brazilian from a position he has adapted to admirably since his arrival from Hoffenheim.

The forward’s somewhat illusive approach to leading as his team’s no.9 has proven to be a perfect fit to Klopp’s interchanging attacking system.

Liverpool may well look to strengthen in an attacking sense during the summer, but little can dislodge a front three boasting a combined tally of 63 goals so far this season – 30 of which have come courtesy of Salah.

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