The holy trinity of attackers at Anfield need to be assisted in the goal haul with strikes from midfielders. That’s the verdict of former Liverpool frontman John Aldridge, who says manager Jurgen Klopp can ask no more of his livewire goal-getters ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Aldridge has paid tribute to the mastery of Kop kings Robert Firminio, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, who together rattled home an astonishing 91 goals last season.
And while Salah has deservedly received the huge bulk of the praise — with Mane enjoying his fair share, too — Aldridge believes the balance that a player of the ability of Firminio adds to the three-pronged attack should be cherished.
“When you’ve got three players up top, you’ve got to strike a balance — we’re very well balanced. You’ve got to get different things from different players and he just balances it. The way he comes off, the other lads can go into a central role, Mane or Salah.
“I think he’s the best mover of the three of them; he drags people out of position with his movement, he’s very clever, he opens spaces up for the other two to take advantage of. Don’t forget he scored 25 goals or so last year, which in itself is tremendous, plus his assists are right up there as well. The way we play, he’s absolutely vital, he’s always involved with the other two.”
And so, it is to the midfielders, and to a lesser extent the defenders, who Aldridge is looking to, to boost the goals for the Reds next season, adding:
“If we need more goals it’s from midfield. The three forwards can’t do any more than they did from a creative point of view, from a scoring point of view but it’s fair to say that we didn’t get enough goals from midfield last year.
“I think we’ve got to take the weight off the front three players, we depend on them an awful lot. We need a few more goals from midfield and the centre-halves.”
Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson has been handed some praise from Reds team-mate Dejan Lovren after impressive displays in England’s World Cup bid this summer in Russia.
Liverpool skipper Henderson put in another polished performance in the heart of the Three Lions’ midfield on Sunday as Gareth Southgate’s side rubber-stamped their position in the last 16 of the tournament by hammering Panama 6-1.
No-nonsense central defender Lovren, who has enjoyed success in Russia also with his Croatia team already progressing from the tournament’s group stage, reckons his pal has earned the plaudits coming his way for his dazzling displays.
“I’m so proud of Jordan Henderson, who is showing through all the season that he had a great season and even with the mental fatigue, he shows that he is a real leader to Liverpool and also to the English team. I hope they can go as us and maybe somewhere we can meet later on!”