Liverpool’s transition to a new attacking trio


Since Mohamed Salah joined Liverpool in 2017 to complete their attacking trio, their front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have terrorised Premier League defences for the past five seasons.

However, this is all coming to an end. Firmino has been gradually edged out of the side, starting only ten matches in the Premier League last season, while Mane looks likely to secure his move away from Liverpool to join Bayern Munich.

This puts Jurgen Klopp’s side into a transitional period. Between Mane’s expected departure, Firmino playing fewer matches and Salah’s future not being certain, Liverpool have been forced to look to the future.

This is where their signings play a key role. Darwin Nunez, one of Europe’s most promising talents, has just signed and filled the void that will be left by Mane. Liverpool have acted quickly to secure the 22-year-old, fending off interest from Manchester United.

There is no doubt that Nunez’s performance against Liverpool at Anfield would have acted as his audition for the club. The Portuguese forward was tremendous in utilising his pace and structure to torment both Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez before chipping the ball over Alisson to complete his side’s on-the-night comeback.

However, Nunez’s performances have not been limited to the Champions League. The 22-year-old scored 26 goals in 28 matches for Benfica in the Primeira Liga last season, whilst also accumulating four assists in the process. His performances played a key role in Benfica’s third-place finish and have showcased his talent throughout the season.

So, even though Liverpool are losing Mane, they have acquired a player that has the potential to become a world superstar, but their recruitment in attack started long before Nunez.

Diogo Jota signed for Liverpool back in 2020 and scored 15 Premier League goals last season, his versatility helping him become a key cog in Klopp’s system. The 25-year-old was most commonly deployed as a centre-forward, but has also played both left-wing and right-wing for Liverpool this season.

Jota’s addition to the Liverpool team meant increased competition at the time for their fabled front three. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers forward, accompanied by Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, provided strength in depth for Liverpool’s attack. Whilst Jota’s signing provided depth at the time of his signing, his arrival at Anfield was a signing that was made to take over the reins of their ageing front three, or at least try to.

Next season will be key for Jota. Although Jota made 35 Premier League appearances last season, Mane’s almost inevitable departure gives the Portuguese forward a chance to shine that he did not quite have last year.

The final piece of Liverpool’s attacking puzzle is Luis Diaz. The Colombian was signed for an initial fee of £37 million in January of this year and made 13 Premier League appearances for the club. Primarily, Diaz is played on the left-wing; but he has also been deployed on the right before. Diaz is a tricky winger. His pace and dribbling ability have helped him fit in seamlessly into Klopp’s side – where he has contributed to seven Premier League goals so far.

Diaz has brought a breath of fresh air to Liverpool’s attacking line. The 25-year-old ranked within the 94th percentile for dribbles completed per 90, and the 87th percentile for progressive carries per 90. His ability to carry the ball forward and drive towards the defenders is sought after and he only looks to be gaining more confidence.

Although Liverpool have had their fair share of disappointing attacking players throughout the years, the current trio that are set to take over from Salah, Mane and Firmino look promising. It seems that Liverpool’s scouting department have been successful in finding these players that Klopp can help develop and fill the void that will be left at the end of an era on Merseyside.

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