Jamie Carragher says he is “worried” for Roberto Firmino’s future at Liverpool after the striker put in another poor showing against Manchester United.
Liverpool dominated possession on Sunday at Anfield, but rarely looked like scoring and Carragher says the front three looked off colour.
But while the former Liverpool defender is confident Sadio Mane and Mo Salah will quickly return to form, he is not so sure about Firmino.
The Brazilian has scored five goals and grabbed three assists from 18 Premier League games. But he has managed neither in his last four matches and he was a shadow of his former self against United.
Nevertheless it must be a concern for Klopp, and Carragher feels the German coach will have to split the three up “sooner or later”.
“The reason I say that Liverpool’s front three is unique is not that they are better than other front threes, it’s how long they’ve stayed together,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“They are now in their fourth season and the great front threes in the Premier League have normally only been together for two or three years.
“We’re now in year four for Liverpool and we’re maybe going to go into year five because they’ve all got two or three years left on their contracts. They are all getting to their late 20s and sooner or later that front three will have to be broken up.
“You can’t, in two years’ time, say ‘we’re going to buy a new front three’ and replace them all. It will change over time.”
Carragher believes Firmino’s form started to drop off last season. The Reds cruised to the Premier League title with an 18-point gap to second-placed Man City. Firmino however, struggled for goals.
He scored just nine times in the league, and scored just once after the Coronavirus restart and only managed one assist.
Firmino not dangerous enough
In contrast Mane scored five times after the restart in June, while Salah chipped in with four goals.
Carragher added: “At this moment, I think Mane and Salah are going through poor form. It happens. I’m still confident that Mane and Salah will start scoring goals again, but I must say I am worried for Firmino.
“He’s never been seen as the goalscorer, that’s the responsibility of the other two. But he’s there to chip in and when they’re not scoring, and I just feel he needs to be a bigger goal threat.
“Yesterday [against Manchester United], he had a couple of chances but he’s not quite striking the ball right. His bringing players into the game has dropped off too. And also the counter-pressing and winning the ball back has dropped off with Firmino, and not just this season.
“I’m actually going back to last season, when Liverpool won the league. I was a little bit worried then and I was thinking, ‘Can he turn it around this season?’”