Liverpool could pursue a number of false nines in the summer to add competition to Bobby Firmino’s spot, with The Athletic identifying Amine Gouiri, Breel Embolo, and Jonathan David as potential options.
Following the 29-year-old’s much-analysed slump in form, some have questioned whether the Brazilian is still fit for purpose.
“Stylistically, Gouiri is Firmino’s closest statistical doppleganger,” Tom Worville wrote. “He links play and retains the ball really well, disrupts and intercepts at above-average rates and rarely gets involved in aerial duels too.”
“Similar to Gouiri, Lille’s David is another Firmino doppleganger,” the analytics writer added. “This season, he’s been adept at defending from the front. His profile in possession looks similar to Firmino’s but he’s a bit more toothless when it comes toa actually providing some attacking threat himself.”
More traditional No.9s like the highly-admired Erling Haaland have been linked with the club.
Breel Embolo, deemed an in-between for the traditional, goalscoring role and Bobby’s link-up-heavy adaptation, could offer the Reds a suitable alternative.
However, should Jurgen Klopp desire a forward who can replicate Firmino’s seemingly inimitable characteristics, Liverpool’s forward-line would be instantly bolstered, as the German could afford to rotate one his most prized assets.
There are suspicions that, similarly to other players in the squad, the striker’s performance has dipped as a direct result of the disruption to team structure following a raft of injuries in defence.
Only time will tell, of course, as our sidelined stars slowly return to action, but it couldn’t hurt for Klopp to pursue some further reinforcements up front to take the pressure off our rarely-rested front-three.