Five proven ways Liverpool can replace their top three


“Imagine where I would be if these boys weren’t playing for me” this Jurgen Klopp earlier this month a hypothetical Liverpool scenario that may soon become reality.

Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah each moved to Anfield in three straight summers from 2015 to 2017, are all 28 years old and collectively have scored 251 goals in 560 games for the Reds.

Their longevity and consistency are amazing, with this third consecutive season as a unit; few attacking lines in Premier League history can match such enduring brilliance.

But Nelly Furtado knows all too well that all good things (come to an end), so Klopp would be careful to take note of how others have rebuilt attacking machines when considering his options at Liverpool.

1) tear it up and start over
The example
: Manchester United
The trio
: Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez
Years: 2007-2009
The names: 140 goals in 293 games, two Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy
Breaking: Ronaldo has been sold to Real Madrid and Tevez’s two-season loan has expired

“You’ll never beat these three for me,” Gary Neville recently gushed of a triumvirate that “was out of this world”. United were a fierce force of a counter-attacking nature with forwards complementing each other with often devastating effect towards the end of the decade. But when Sir Alex Ferguson was able to persuade Ronaldo not to stay any longer and carelessly stray Tevez through town, a fearsome three became a threat. Rooney was sometimes associated with Dimitar Berbatov in 2009/10 but most consistently led the line alone during perhaps its best season ever. He came close to leaving Old Trafford himself at the end of that year due to concerns about ‘the future squad’, before withdrawing a transfer request and signing a five-year contract.

Will Liverpool do it? No chance. Klopp will surely try to change things a little more patiently while getting results. Salah, Firmino and Mane are all under contract with the club until 2023 and appear to be quite happy.

2) Gradual elimination
The example
: Arsenal
The trio: Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry
Years: 2000-2006
The names: 329 goals in 838 matches, two Premier League titles and a finalist place in the Champions League
Breaking: Arsenal built around Henry having phased out Bergkamp and Pires before both leaving in 2006

Arsenal ostensibly put all their eggs in the right basket, but Henry is also said to have left in 2007. The Frenchman said he “never played in Spain and never will” when signing his “last contract” »12 months before moving to Barcelona. Robert Pires accompanied him to La Liga by joining Villarreal and although 50 Premier League starts in his last two seasons was not the mark of a player surplus to requirements, it underscored his declining status in the north London. As for Dennis Bergkamp, ​​his appearances were sporadic enough to cede the reins to compatriot Robin van Persie, while Henry provided the most fleeting groundwork possible. In 2007/08, the only Arsenal striker who started more than half of his Premier League games was Emmanuel Adebayor.

Will Liverpool do it? They might well try to gently take out a striker, but not in Arsenal’s sense of losing all three in quick succession.

3) spend loads
The example
: Manchester City
The trio: Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Yaya Touré
Years: 2011-2015
The names: 227 goals in 502 games and two Premier League titles
Breaking: Dzeko was sold in August 2015 after the signing of Wilfried Bony the previous August

Flavor of the month signature Wilfried Bony has left a bitter taste in Manchester City’s mouth for years. The Swansea forward finished 2014 as Premier League top scorer of the calendar year and started 2015 with a £ 25million step at the Etihad. Dzeko, who started 39 high-profile games and scored 30 goals in the victorious 2011/12 and 2013/14 campaigns, was sacrificed to welcome the Ivorian, who scored ten goals in 46 games. Manuel Pellegrini’s bet did not bear fruit.

Will Liverpool do it? The Premier League’s top scorer of 2019, and therefore Liverpool’s equivalent, would be Jamie Vardy. It would be fun, but Klopp is a coward.

4) Promote youth
The example
: Liverpool
The trio: McManaman, Collymore, Fowler
Years: 1995-1997
The names: 122 goals in 282 games and some very white combinations
Breaking: Collymore was sold after being spoofed by teenager Michael Owen

After Fowler’s 25 Premier League goals and McManaman’s heroism at Wembley in the 1995 League Cup final, Liverpool decided the time had come to replace Ian Rush properly. Collymore joined for a UK record £ 8.5million and formed a wonderful partnership with the duo as Liverpool started the 1995/96 season as a title favorite for many before finishing third. They then established a five-point spread at the top of the table in late December 1996, eventually coming back to fourth. Collymore was still featured in his second season, but less consistently than his first, with Owen making his debut and first start in the final two games of the 1996/97 campaign. Collymore was sold to Aston Villa and Owen shared the Premier League Golden Boot in his first full season as a professional, which ended in tormenting Roberto Ayala at the World Cup.

Will Liverpool do it? Perhaps. Rhian brewster could finally break through or Harvey Elliott could be inspired by his new contract.

5) End it with a text
The example
: Chelsea
The trio: Danger, Pedro, Costa
Years: 2015-2017
The names: 82 goals in 252 games and a Premier League title
Breaking: Antonio Conte dumped top scorer Costa by text and replaced him with Alvaro Morata

Maybe not.


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