I’ve been hearing this kind of rhetoric on Twitter a lot recently – and it baffles me…
Fans happy to speculate about buying Kylian Mbappe, Jadon Sancho, or whoever, while blissfully and hypothetically offloading Mo Salah – but if not – one of his partners in crime: Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane.
It’s an absolute case of the bird in the hand (the brilliant, proven, Champions League winning Liverbird) being worth more than two in the bush!
Journalist Ryan O’Hanlon has speculated in a lengthy ESPN piece that the Reds should consider offloading one of our world-class trio before their value diminishes – therefore sacrificing our chance of winning trophies in the next three years as a result.
Here’s his argument:
“Salah turned 27 in June; Mane celebrated the same birthday in April; and Firmino turns 28 in October. Most attackers start to decline right around this time. Take a star player, throw in a minor drop-off in production and you’ve still got a star player, just slightly diminished. But when it happens to three guys at once, the effect on the team’s performance could be exponential.
“So Liverpool have a problem to solve. It’s a problem they’re lucky to have, but a problem nonetheless.
“They can keep all three and get the maximum amount of on-field production out of them over the next couple of seasons, but that would eventually leave them with a trio of declining, expensive older players whose transfer values will have greatly declined. (All three are on contracts that expire on the same day, too: mark your calendars for June 30, 2023.) Or they could try to sell high on one right before the decline comes, running the risk of missing out on another great season or two, but then use that money to find a replacement, reinvest elsewhere in the squad, or both.”
So, you have a ‘problem’ if you don’t have the best front-three in world football, all in their primes, and you have a ‘problem’ if you do?
Football is about building teams good enough to win trophies over a period of two-three years. That’s all you can do – and that’s exactly what Liverpool have done. By 2022, we reckon Jurgen Klopp will have furthered his Liverpool legacy by racking up silverware galore – and hopefully the big one: The Premier League.
Should we offload Mo Salah when he’s 29-years-old, then wait another 30 years to have a side good enough to challenge for the title?
No. Will it cost us money by not selling our best players? Obviously – but the aim of Liverpool is not to make big profits in the transfer market that are eventually lost by the fact the team hasn’t qualified for the Champions League!
What we should do is acquire a superb young forward, perhaps in the Sancho-mould, next summer – so the eventual transition is seamless – rather than expecting a prodigy to come in for massive money and be immediately world-class in place of Salah, Mane or Bob.
Liverpool absolutely must enjoy the sensational side we’ve got right now for as long as possible. The rewards will be obvious.