December 8, 2021

Mane, Salah & Firmino wouldn’t be as effective at Barcelona or Man City, says Liverpool legend Barnes

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The ex-Reds midfielder considers a Senegalese forward to be one of the world’s best at present and has no concerns regarding Jurgen Klopp’s defence

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino “wouldn’t be as effective” if they were to seek challenges away from Liverpool and link up with the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City, says John Barnes.

Moves away from Anfield for a star trio have been mooted amid the considerable success enjoyed by Jurgen Klopp’s side.

There have been suggestions that, with domestic and continental triumphs savoured on Merseyside, heads may be turned once fresh starts are sought.

Barnes is, however, among those to have warned an attacking unit that has struck up the perfect balance that the grass is not always greener elsewhere.

He believes Mane and co – with the Senegalese being held up as one of the finest players on the planet at the moment – should be looking to stay together for as long as possible.

The Liverpool legend told BonusCodeBets: “Mane suits Jurgen Klopp’s playing style and all the players are suited to the way Liverpool play.

“If Mane, Firmino or Salah went to City or Barcelona they wouldn’t be as effective. Jurgen has picked the players in the image of what he wants the team to be.

“At present, Mane is one of the most in form players in the world and it’s great to see him playing his best football at Liverpool. For me, he’s one of the best in the Premier League.”

Liverpool are set to be without Mane in their next outing, against Aston Villa on Sunday, with the 28-year-old having joined club colleague Thiago Alcantara in contracting Covid-19.

He will be a big miss for Klopp while taking in a period of self-isolation, but the Premier League champions have plenty of cover available.

Barnes expects the Reds to be a formidable force again in 2020-21, with there no concerns on his part when it comes to the risk of playing a high press and exposing supposed defensive flaws.

He added: “They aren’t leaking more goals than normal. It is simply the way they play.

“When you play a high line, every now and then an opposition player gets through. It doesn’t happen very often, but when they win the ball, they can go on to score goals, you can’t you have it perfect in every way.

“Liverpool are a well-balanced side between defence and attack, and now play a high line. They’re giving away more chances but are scoring more goals.

“So, it’s certainly entertaining to watch from a fan’s perspective.

“Two years ago, Liverpool were more consistent when they won the Champions League final and lost one game, I thought they played better than they did last season.

“Last year when they won the league matches, Man City obviously weren’t as good, but I believe that they (Liverpool) played better two years ago.

“They have been consistent for the last two years, you can nitpick to say whether last year was better than the year before, but they have been so consistent in the last 48 months and that’s reflected in the results on the pitch.

“The team have only lost two or three games in two years which is a phenomenal achievement.”