McManaman Believes Klopp Still Trusts Salah, Mane and Firmino Ahead of Jota

Published December 1st, 2020 - 11:45 GMT
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Steve McManaman is convinced that Roberto Firmino is still ahead of Diogo Jota in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool pecking order.

Klopp’s Liverpool won the Premier League last term with an attacking trio of Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.

The trio’s attacking displays were top drawer last term, but Klopp did not rest on his laurels as he raided Wolves for the signature of Jota.

Portugal forward Jota has hit the ground running at Anfield, and was on target on his most recent outing - the 1-1 draw with Brighton at the weekend.

Firmino’s goal return is inferior to Jota’s, but the Brazilian‘s skillset is wide-ranging and he does so much work off the ball that McManaman feels he is still Klopp’s preferred option in attack.

“I still think Jurgen Klopp likes the fact he can rely on Firmino, Mane and Salah at the moment,” McManaman said, "as much as Jota has been absolutely fantastic.

"I think he (Jota) would still be the one to drop out at the moment. If his form carries on, that might change but he won the league with the other three so he knows they can trust them fully.”

McManaman feels the only area of concern for Liverpool is at centre-back, following the injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

The former Liverpool man does not believe the club should have any regrets over selling Dejan Lovren, as the injuries could not have been planned for, but would like to see the Reds look at strengthening in January.

“I think the only area is in the central defensive area,” McManaman said. “I don’t think so in any other area of the pitch.

“People keep saying that they let Lovren go and they never replaced him which is true but you don’t expect two or three injuries in the same positions.

“If I had the money would I bring someone in? Yes. I don’t know what the financial situation is. Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are out for a significant amount of time. You can move Fabinho back into the centre-half area where he has been fantastic.

“If they have the finances, it is a no-brainer to go and sign a centre-half, then if you have too many central defenders then you sort it out at the end of the season.

"It would be a no-brainer and I would look at getting a top centre-defender and deal with the numbers further down the line.”

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