Looking ahead to the summer transfer window, BBC Sport looked at the potential destinations for Erling Haaland in the Premier League, considering Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
With Roberto Firmino’s limited contribution in terms of goals compared to his more prolific front-three teammates, the Borussia Dortmund star has been highlighted as a potential avenue Jurgen Klopp could pursue to improve upon the Brazilian.
“Recent reports have linked Liverpool with Paris St-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, but with the possibility that they may have to sell one of their trusted forwards Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah to fund the move and make room for the Frenchman,” Raj Chohan wrote. “Roberto Firmino’s goalscoring – six goals in 19 league starts – has never been his main strength, but there are also concerns over his link-up play and creativity, which has facilitated Mane and Salah’s success for so long.”
As those who regularly watch the German’s side will be more than aware, goals are not what make the No.9 special; his link-up play is often instrumental in creating options and space for his fellow forwards.
It’s not as simple as bringing in a striker who can score over 20 goals a season – Liverpool are reliant on a series of complicated parts that make up their intricately constructed machine.
According to Chohan, however, the Norwegian could prove to be the perfect blend of goals and link-up play that Klopp requires, pointing out Dortmund’s recent victory over RB Leipzig as evidence.
“Haaland’s link-up play is a facet of his game that is evolving. Take the recent match against RB Leipzig, for example. Julian Nagelsmann’s side had suffocated the service into Haaland in the first half and he had just five touches of the ball,” the BBC Sport writer added. “In the second half, the Norwegian changed his method of attack, dropping deeper and carrying the ball to set up Jadon Sancho’s goal and then contributing in the build-up to his own strike.”
The malleability of Haaland’s style of play could present the German with an interesting conundrum in the summer, as he seeks the latest evolution to hone the Reds’ edge even further.
We’d be reluctant to see Firmino depart to make room for the Bundesliga hotshot, however, as we’d imagine Klopp would be too.