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Firmino, Mané, & Salah Are Why Liverpool Don't Need Philippe Coutinho

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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Is there a better attack in the Premier League right now than the three players Jurgen Klopp sent out on Sunday afternoon? He would have hoped that the combination of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, and Mohamed Salah could cause the Gunners problems and create chances... But instead they may have cost Arsene Wenger his job once and for all.

Arsenal were an absolute shambles, but every pundit on a TV/radio payroll has hammered that point home already. What not enough have done, is praise how utterly terrifying the front three of Liverpool were from start to finish.

All three knew that any time they got the ball they had the ability to drive straight at the heart of the Arsenal back three, and they did so time and time again to devastating effect. It probably should have been 8-0, and would have been but for Petr Cech, but with so much fuss about Philippe Coutinho, Sunday's performance should have left many wondering... 'Why?'

Firmino now must fall into the category of 'underrated', as he gets nowhere near enough credit for being one of the most dangerous attacking threats in the league, but what is truly impressive about the Brazilian is his versatility. He can play on either wing, as an attacking midfielder through the middle, or as a centre-forward.

Each job he does well, which makes him an absolute snip at £29m. While he is not your typical #9, having taken over the shirt number he has offered Liverpool a different kind of threat, and one that is extremely difficult to stop with the interchanging between himself the two wingers.

Sadio Mané meanwhile, might be the best attacking player in the league on current form and if he can stay fit, it's hard to see how he won't be on the shortlist for player of the year. He is the one Liverpool fans and former players are pointing to as the reason why Coutinho is now expendable, and it's spot on.


In terms of being dependable, someone your manager, teammates, and fans can rely on to be a weapon in every match, Mané is the main man now. He's making those who were legitimately angry that the club signed him from Southampton more and more stupid with every minute he plays.



Then we have Mohamed Salah, a player who Chelsea let go in that weird time when they couldn't see the value in the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, he became a star at Roma and now looks like Premier League veteran thanks to his previous experience in the league. He has taken to Klopp's system like a duck to water and is producing quality with regularity.

The front three have been so good, that the question should be 'Where does Coutinho fit in?' rather than 'Can they afford to lose him?...

If Coutinho was to stay at Anfield, who gets dropped to accommodate him? It doesn't help the Brazilian that the newly established midfield three of Henderson, Emre Can and Wijnaldum have been doing exceptionally well too. It is certainly not like he walks back into that team.


Unless they are planning to convert Coutinho to a goalkeeper, full-back, or centre-back, then it seems as the club have already moved on.

Finally, when you factor in the Coutinho money that Liverpool could then re-invest, it's puzzling as to why the board are so adament that he will not be sold. It must be on principal, that they don't want to send a message that clubs like Barca can do to them what they did to Southampton on many occasions, because Coutinho just isn't that important any more.

If you said at this time last year that Coutinho would be about to leave the club, but it's not a big problem, you would have been laughed at. Now, it looks like it's about to happen.

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