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09 Apr 2021 23:43:27
Ed666, I read you said you have a sneaky feeling Mane might be sold. I actually agree with everything you said regarding the reasons for moving him on and in particular the peculiar loss of form. I posted something similar the other day that he will be 30 next summer with 1 year remaining on his contract. He might have to be the sacrificial lamb so to speak, as our team needs freshening up and his sell would provide much needed funds to facilitate that. Again, this is not a slight on Mane because he has been sensational for us over the last 3 years. But it's between him and Firmino and Mane would command the larger transfer fee. As to what that fee would be given the financial climate we find ourselves in would be anyone's guess.

{Ed0666's Note - yeh I think so too mate. Again I sound like such a traitor and a shitbag for saying this but for all the reasons discussed I feel Mane should be the one that moves on. Then next season Salah. It’s just evolution and nothing personal. We can’t let us become embroiled in Ozil type situations because we simply can’t afford them and they will hinder the natural progression of the squad. Mane may go somewhere else and become the world class player he is but that’s just the chance you have to take. With the economic situation as it is I’m not sure we will command a big fee for him anyway.

Agree0 Disagree0

10 Apr 2021 04:40:03
If a buyer can be found for Mane, I doubt we would be getting more than 70million pounds anyways. He is worth more than that to us but from a long term perspective, it's a risk we need to take. Hypothetically, Mane's departure would pay for a younger wide player (Neto/ Barnes/ Raphinha) and cover the permanent transfer of Kabak as well.
I'd take that tbh. The objective should be to start replacing at least two first team players every summer and moving the fringe players on at the earliest.

10 Apr 2021 05:25:36
Are we assured we get a better player than Sadio for 70 Million? Do we need a harder and bigger sting than the one delivered by Keita?

I think it's only one bad or mixed season. I prefer staying the course with him and seeing him through for another year. At least the man is committed and loyal. I don't recall ever hearing or reading anything even remotely flirtatious with other teams (i. e. in Spain) . Unlike the other guy.

{Ed077's Note - You might get a better player than Sadio Mane of this season though.(Case in point: Diogo Jota). He was linked with a move to either of the Spanish sides last summer and hasnt played anywhere near to his previous level (whether or not its connected is)}

10 Apr 2021 06:23:38
You may be right Ed077. But I tend to look at Mane's production and what he has shown on the field for us over 3 years, when comparing it to Jota's results over half a season. We're not having a debate over skill here, mind you. It's clear both are skilled footballers. But you accurately said we "might get a better player" if we sold Mane. And then again we might not. We're currently sitting 7th in the table, and I don't feel we need to dispose of a player who has been a vital part in us getting the best results and titles in the past 3 years that we have had in the previous 30 years. As far as the flirtations are concerned, my opinion is that most of those are created by "outsiders" (agents, the media, other clubs) half the time anyway. In this digital age, so much is unverified and just plain lies and cr*p, that it's difficult to really form an accurate opinion. Our "Egyptian King" has been flirting since the day he joined. But then, even here, I don't have much to say, because he has consistently produced throughout his time with us. Let him continue flirting for all i care, as long as the goal production stays at the same level.

It's a strange and weird thing actually. Because of the times, clubs are able to sell their best or better players easily, while the non-productive ones keep warming the bench, collecting their paychecks, staying on the books and ultimately weakening the team further and further.

{Ed077's Note - but Mane and for that case all of your fabulous front 3, are all at an age where they might not be able to sustain the level of incredible performances they have done in the past. The issue about Mane, Firmino and Salah has never been about quality, but about their natural decline with age. The likelihood of getting any kind of fair price for them isnt much high after this coming summer IMO and Mane might be the easiest to shift, in part due to his price tag being lower than Salah and his versatility.

Also have some faith in Klopp and the recruitment team ,seeing that they have brought in the likes of Salah, Mane, Jota for normal prices and churned out amazing outputs. Selling Mane (or Firmino or Salah) might not be the best thing for next season but in 3 years time it might be the best thing for the evolution of the team. A bit like Coutinhos sale.

10 Apr 2021 07:37:32
For me personally I would keep Mane and look to move Bobby on if we had to sell one of the front 3. I get the argument that Mane will bring a higher price but I think that was pretty C.V. when we were talking 100 mil plus. Now we are talking 70 mil I think we could probably get 50-60 mill for Bobby so it’s not a massive difference. Manes form has been way below his usual standards this season and Tue night game out in Madrid is probably the worst I’ve seen him play for us as he looked like Bambi on ice. However it wasn’t as if it was a case of lack of trying. Lots of people point to his age but he’s younger than Bobby and only 2 months older than Salah. Actually it’s his birthday today. Happy 29th birthday Mane.

I’ve even seen some fans say that he’s now on the decline due to his age but for me he looks like a player who looks like he is physically and mentally exhausted and is trying too hard due to a major lack of confidence. His season actually seems to be mirroring Sterling’s over at City who is only 26 so he might be over the hill as well. Mane and Sterling have been 2 of the league stand out players for the last 3 years and both have very similar stats and both seem to have suffered burn out at the same time.

I can also see none of the front 3 being sold this summer because Klopp seems to really like them all.

{Ed001's Note - why would you sell the only one of the three that hasn't been looking to move though? Surely it has to be a case of selling either Mane or Salah? We have already seen that the trio with Jota in place of Bobby doesn't work as well, so it makes little sense to move on the guy who ties it all together and wants to stay.}

10 Apr 2021 08:01:36
JK23, no one's paying us 50-60 mil for Bobby. I believe Inter have shown a level of interest in him and the best they will go up to is around 30 million euros tops. Makes no sense to sell him for that price.
If one of the front 3 leaves, it's got to be Mane. If we don't start refreshing this squad now, we are going to be in a real mess in 2-3 years both from a footballing and financial perspective.

{Ed077's Note - Inter Milan have missed the payment (instalment) for Lukaku so they are likely going to be lacking funds for big transfers; unless they generate significant funds through player sales or outside investment of sorts.}

10 Apr 2021 08:07:12
When have we seen that the new trio doesn’t work as well? You must be basing that on one isolated game. When they took Bobby off the Jota in other games the new front 3 looked much improved. We simply don’t know yet but we do know Mane has had a terrible season but Firmino since his standout season has been average at best.

{Ed001's Note - every time, they can't link up because Jota simply can't pass a ball five yards. Great goalscorer but he is not a link player and nor is Mane or Salah.}

10 Apr 2021 08:11:52
I hate to say it but Fergie had a history of selling players that reached their peak, freshened up the squad. Sometimes it needs to be done.

10 Apr 2021 08:16:53
Ed001 it’s only my opinion mate and the main part is the “if” we have to sell one. For me I’d like to see us keep our main players (so that would be all 3) and make a better squad but due to finances I also know that’s probably not possible. Also I disagree that Bobby in the front 3 instead of Jota we look better. Maybe in the past but definitely not this season. Mane has underperformed whether it’s Jota or Bobby beside him and Salah still scores beside both. I’ve only had a quick look at the records and it shows Jota has only started 5 games at centre forward for us (this may be wrong) and 4 of them have been in the CL. And Bobby has played 39 times at centre forward this season where we have played well in some and not so well in others. But as I said I believe there is space for the 4 of them in the squad and starting 11 going forward and personally I would not sell any if that is an option. I only mentioned selling as it was my opinion on the post that discussed selling one of the front 3.

{Ed001's Note - you may disagree but Jota can't link the play, there is no comparison. There is a reason why Benzema has lasted so long at Madrid. You keep the linkman that everything else builds around, more so than the rest. It is the key to it all.}

10 Apr 2021 08:17:32
I forgot to mention Inter may look to Firmino only if they sell both Eriksen and Sanchez. Firmino is not a priority for them, simply an option. The point is that Firmino is more valuable to us than 30 million euros. Rather keep him.
On the other hand, selling Mane for 70 million pounds (if a buyer can be found) gets us a Neto/ Barnes (who imo will be next great forwards in the premier league in the coming years) and Kabak on a permanent deal.
We can then sell some of the expensive squad players and loaned out players to pay for Konate and a new CM.

{Ed001's Note - Kabak? Would you really want to sign him on the evidence of the games he has played? I don't see anything to suggest he is any better than Phillips and he is nowhere near Gomez, Matip or Virgil. He was beaten for pace just as much as Phillips against Madrid. If he was in the position Phillips was in, ie already owned by the club, I would not be bothered whether he stays or goes, but to pay for him just seems ridiculous. There is no way he improves the team, either buy someone good enough to push Gomez and van Dijk or we are going backwards.}

10 Apr 2021 08:27:35
This season Mane has hardly linked up with Robbo he just isn’t playing well. When Mane and Salah were on top of their games the link up play without Bobby was often very high quality. Salah often gets the most assists, the link in the Bayern game was world class. It’s all about form not style for me.

{Ed001's Note - I agree with you that they link well with their full-backs, but a lot of that is because Bobby flits around them helping create space and getting involved too. That doesn't happen with Jota. Yet. It might come but I don't see it in his game. He is a replacement for either Mane or Salah for me and it makes sense as both have been making eyes at other teams, so maybe now is the time to pull the trigger and let one go?}

10 Apr 2021 08:32:36
That’s my worry is ending up I’m situations that Arsenal usually find themselves in. We can’t afford to have players with next to no years left on their contract and past 30 years of age. That makes no sense business wise and players come and players go. We keep our most sellable assets to what, 32 with absolutely no re-sell value and then try to replace them with no money. That would be leaving us in a very bad position both financially and in terms of the progression on the club, squad and team. It will be a sad day when the likes of Mane, Firmino and Salah leave but I have every faith in Edwards and the scouting team to pull some gems out of nowhere.

10 Apr 2021 08:33:19
I posted similar to you last week ed001 regarding kabak, not sure about him at all, look alright against the likes of Arsenal but Madrid. I’d rather us push for another quality CB to give us a four of VVD, A another, Gomez and Phillips.

As for Bobby, it’s not just his link up play but his pressing from the front, this part of his game gets unnoticed massively. Like you say, Jota has an eye for goal and that’s great because it gives us another dimension but his link up play isn’t there an nor the desire to chase the ball down.

{Ed001's Note - exactly Drogie, Kabak is definitely not the answer. He looked like he was towing a caravan against Madrid at times. I was shocked at how slow he looked. He is not the answer, I think that is becoming clearer by the week.

You are right about Jota lacking a bit of desire to press, which is a huge issue for the way we play. I like him, he is good running with the ball, but if he doesn't score then he is not a lot of use, in fact he was a liability against Madrid. I am sure he will improve, but he is not ready to play the central role and neither Mane nor Salah ever look right there. Unless there is someone in the squad such as Minamino, Jones or Elliott, maybe even Ox, earmarked to play the link role, we have little choice but to keep Bobby.}

10 Apr 2021 08:35:28
Ed001 is there any incline out of the club then about one of the front 3 moving on or who Klopp would prefer to be the sacrificial lamb if needed.

I agree Bobby’s strength is linking play of the front 3 but I’d also say he was doing it a lot better in seasons of past. Not saying it’s just his fault but Bobby was very much part of the front 3 in the games against Wba, Newcastle, Southampton, Brighton, Burnley, Fulham, Utd, Everton, Chelsea, City and Leicester and apart from the world class assist for Salah in the Leicester game I can’t remember him knitting much together with Mane and Salah.

Jota has a lot to work on away from goal scoring but in his one league start at CF against wolves the 3 of them combined pretty well for the goal.

I think we might see Jota, Bobby and Salah for a few games now so it could be a case of let’s see how that looks and it will put all the debating whichever side of the fence people are on to bed.

{Ed001's Note - right now, there is no question, if one goes it has to be Mane. He has been awful, he has been making eyes at other clubs and he might take his best mate Keita with him (with a bit of luck). Salah is simply a better player than Mane, imo, so you keep him. Obviously it does depend on what kind of offers come in for them, but I think it will be Mane that goes.}

10 Apr 2021 08:40:28
Me personally would move firmino on first and then look to move one of mane or salah on the season after. Mane has had a terrible season but I feel he’s much more of a goal threat than firmino. Plus jota can fill in for mane if we can find someone to fill firmino’s role, minamino isn’t that person.

{Ed001's Note - so you want to move on the player we don't have a ready-made replacement for? In what world does that make any sense? You sell the one who has someone ready to slot straight in, while you find a replacement for the others.}

10 Apr 2021 08:42:38
Ed in fairness to benzema he also scores about 90% of Real’s goals.

{Ed001's Note - now he does, but he never used to score and the fans all wanted rid of him because they didn't think he was any good as he wasn't scoring enough. Bit like Bobby.}

10 Apr 2021 09:02:03
This is a bit harsh on Jota. He has come back from a 3 month injury and then had to go away with the National team. Give him a full run of games before people start saying he lacks the desire to press. He is almost certainly not fully fit. I do expect Bobby to play well today. Mane to be rested. When Hendo and Fabs are playing surely Thiago can be the link man.

10 Apr 2021 09:09:00
Ed in fairness to Benzema he’s hit 15 plus league goals 8 times in his 11 seasons in Spain. His overall record for real is 1 goal every 2 games. I think Bobby’s is around 1 goal every 4. I think Real fans wanted galacticos and massively under appreciated him. Same could be said of Bobby I suppose.

On the subject of Kabak I agree. I don’t think either him or Phillips are good enough to be starters moving forward so why spend 20 mill on a centre half to be 4th choice when we already have one here for free and he’s also home grown.

As someone said earlier it will be a sad time when the front 3 do leave and it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. The key is getting that replacement in. Talking of moving players on at 28 and 29 also shows that we haven’t got many years left of Hendo and Milner either. Both will be big holes to fill once they leave. Just as much what they bring off the pitch as what they do on it.

{Ed001's Note - agreed, but that was my point on Bobby, it is that most people don't appreciate what he does, just like Benzema. Both Mane and Salah will tell you how important he is to the way we play.

We really do need to start refreshing the team now.}

10 Apr 2021 10:03:54
This is not the conversation I was expecting to be reading on the morning of a big game.
Front 3 - if any of them want to move, and there’s a good deal to be had, then sure. I agree about Salah being the last on that list though.
Phillips / Kabak - I prefer Kabak of the two, he’s quicker and has better distribution in my view. But he would still be a 4th choice and a young player you look to develop. Phillips might make £10-15 m if sold perhaps and would more or less pay for Kabak. Otherwise we look at someone else or ideally one of the younger players.
The central defenders have all got to have decent pace, it’s an absolute must for the way we play. They’re left to cover both full backs. Phillips cannot play that game, if Kabak cannot either, then it’s back to the drawing board on that one?
This team needs some serious pace and industry added to it in defence and midfield, especially if you’re retaining Thiago, Fabinho and Firmino. All good passers and link up players but not the quickest and there’s not enough around them as it is.

{Ed077's Note - Selling Phillips and buying Kabak would be somewhat a "poor squad management" move IMO specially if Kabak is to signed to be 4th choice. (I personally also believe Phillips is a better CB).}

10 Apr 2021 10:00:10
Ed001 who do you see in world football that we could buy to replace firmino when the time comes? He's so unique. Be interesting to hear your take on that. Is there a player out there that could do Bobby's job but finishes better?

{Ed001's Note - that is the problem, I really don't see anyone out there who does what he does to the same level, even when he is out of form. We are going to have to alter our way of playing slightly, to either go with a link man such as a Benzema-type, or a deeper-lying attacking midfielder. In some games you can go with three out-and-out attackers, in which case an attacking mid-type would have more use, but in others you need him to play higher up the pitch and bring others into play from there.

Myself I think our best option would be to groom someone from within, such as either Jones or Elliott. Or both even. They both have the attributes to be a success in the role.}

10 Apr 2021 10:23:26
You are right about Elliot being a long term option for the Bobby role. The kid's got everything in his locker. Picks passes with ease and he has had an education playing through the middle and out wide as well. It will help massively when grooming a young players to improve awareness on the pitch, which is so important to play like Bobby does for us.

{Ed077's Note - I found out today that only 1 player has more assists in the Championship this season than Elliot. (FYI Elliot has 10 assists, Buendia has 15).}

10 Apr 2021 10:54:48
Kabak has turbo lag. He is ok for speed once he gets going but the first few strides when turned are slow.

10 Apr 2021 11:08:55
Am I in the minority to want all of the original front 3 to stay and with the help of jota and Thiago (both a season under there belt) and the likes of vvd/ Gomez coming back and of course with an addition or 2, let’s go all out next season and get the premier league title back with the legends that ran away with it less than 12 months ago. I get mane and salah have been making eyes/ moves whatever way you want to put it to other clubs but that’s football and plenty have done that to come to Liverpool also. I think people forget how many injuries we have had this season and also with the bad form some players have been in to be still in a champions league quarter final, still in with a real chance of getting top 4 has really shown the determination of these players. I do get there will be a time when the front 3 need to be replaced but mane is 29 salah will be 29 in the summer and firmino is 30 in October, we are talking as if they are all mid thirties. We need to also remember that cv has affected finances badly and the chances of Liverpool spending big in the summer in my personal opinion won’t happen. Someone made a great point about man united and Fergie strengthening the team from a position of strength, well we are not there at this moment. I think we should go again with the team that has delivered so much and scored close to 300 goals including jota in that and then if we win the league next season then let a rebuild happen and I’m not saying all 3 go next year but maybe 1 or 2 of them.

In terms of who I’d have in mind. I think saka from arsenal can be the real deal for us and could cover lb also which would give robbo a well deserved rest. I also like Neto from wolves but think saka would be the better choice. Up front Lauturo Martinez from inter Milan would be ideal. Links up play well and is strong (good for the prem) and scores goals also. Let’s also not forget we have Harvey Elliot also who in my opinion could be whatever he wants to be, such a talent and should definitely be kept next season at Liverpool cause he could easily get 20+ appearances.

10 Apr 2021 11:07:17
I agree about the Bobby role, I mentioned on here a while back that perhaps Jones could play that role, never considered Elliot however. He certainly has the passing attributes to do it. The thing which Jones could give him the edge is i think he has more physicality, he not just taller but uses his body well and I feel that is part of bobbys game that is underrated at times, he can hold the ball up really well and has an immaculate first touch. Something Jones has in common.

10 Apr 2021 11:12:18
Just reading though the posts above and I see you make a point about you would rather have matip than kabak. now am not saying I’d buy kabak but surely matip has to go. His injury record is one of the worst I’ve ever seen!
Also kabak is £20 mil but if we are going to buy another CB who is better for the same money?

10 Apr 2021 23:18:06
Who would you personally move to replace Mane Ed? I personally like the look of Jonathan David.

{Ed0666's Note - Apparently David was on the shortlist of 3 when we signed Jota. I think the other one was Sarr. I think David plays up front but can also play across the front 3 positions. I would go for him as I like what I’ve seen so far. He has remedied a baron spell he had since he joined Lille. He has pace, game IQ and an eye for goal. I like the look of Pedro De La Vega who plays for Banus. My friend whose very well versed in football in that part of the world can’t stop knocking one out over him and I respect his opinion. But this is a job for Micheal Edwards and I’m sure he’ll make a decent decision



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