Liverpool are tipped to next wave farewell to Roberto Firmino as Jurgen Klopp’s ruthless remodelling of the Reds attack continues.
The triumverate of Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will go down as one of the best attacking trios in history. Between them, they scored a total of 374 times for the Reds over their five seasons together. And Liverpool have won all that could be won, with the club also going close to a quadruple in 2021/22.
But the January arrival of Luis Diaz from Porto dropped a heavy hint of what was to come. The Colombian slotted in effortlessly into their attack, often being labelled as the signing of the season, such was his impact.
The biggest indicator was still to come though when earlier this month, Liverpool shattered their club record for the signing of Darwin Nunez.
The Uruguayan arrives with a fearsome record at Benfica and looks another astute capture by the Merseysiders.
Mane, Salah and Firmino all move into the final year of their contract this summer, leaving Liverpool with little choice.
And the first of those departures was confirmed on Tuesday when Mane completed a £35m move to Bayern Munich.
He departs Anfield with the gratitude of everyone, not least Klopp, who claims Mane made ‘it all possible’.
With that part of their history now closing, Firmino is the next one tipped to depart.
Assessing his future, former Reds winger Stewart Downing reckons his time will also soon be up.
Brazilian’s time will soon be up
Speaking ahead of the 360 Sports TV Masters Cup, taking place on July 8, available to stream on 360 Sports TV, Downing believes the Brazilian may be next to leave.
“Towards the end of last season, Roberto Firmino didn’t play as often as he would like. He was a regular at one point and played nearly every game.
“It’s the cycle of football. Diogo Jota came in and surprised everyone. I knew he was a good player, but he got goals and hit the ground running.
“Then there’s Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Luis Díaz, who got shifted into the side ahead of Firmino. You’ve always got to be at the top of your game for clubs like Liverpool because they need to keep progressing, it will be interesting to see.
“I hope Darwin Nunez hits the ground running. I see Firmino being a backup player to him. If they can get Firmino back to the form he was at a couple of seasons ago, it’s another great dimension for Liverpool.
“But this will probably be his last year, or he might do until January.”
Roberto Firmino could depart sooner than that
While Downing is right and the clock is ticking for Firmino, his time may end even before that.
Like Salah, his deal also expires in summer 2023. And Liverpool will be acutely aware that his value will decrease the nearer that comes to expiring.
Furthermore, the player will be eiligible to speak to overseas clubs about a free transfer from January 1.
Instead, we can see the scenario whereby Firmino also leaves this summer. If the Reds were to receive a firm offer for his services, it is something they would have to think twice about.
Roberto Firmino gives hint about Liverpool future
With his contract at Liverpool set to expire in 2023, Roberto Firmino has hinted at staying at Liverpool despite his lack of minutes this season.
That would surely accelerate their plans also to try and negotiate a new deal with Salah.
However, with Divock Origi also leaving, the Reds attack may be a little light on numbers. Granted, Diaz, Nunez, Joto and Salah are more than capable of banging in the goals. But an injury to one would leave Liverpool without an obvious substitute on matchdays.