The Hard Tackle takes a look at three potential destinations for Roberto Firmino, with Liverpool considering a summer sale for the star forward.
A recent report from The Athletic has offered some key insights into Liverpool’s summer strategy. It appears the club is weighing up several contract extension deals with its star players, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Alisson among a few of the many players likely to be handed a new deal.
However, the financial turmoil caused by the pandemic has forced Liverpool to downsize their wage structure. It seems the Reds cannot extend the deal for all of the members of their revered front three consisting of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Salah and Mane have performed consistently over the past few years, thus leaving Firmino as the odd one out. The report claims that Liverpool are expected to make a decision on the future of the former TSG Hoffenheim starlet, with his current deal at Anfield expiring in 2023.
Although it remains unlikely that Liverpool would want to cash in on Firmino without signing a proper replacement, there is a possibility that Jurgen Klopp might want to make that change, having already been linked with a move for multiple forwards across Europe this summer.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will explore three potential destinations for Roberto Firmino for the upcoming season, in case the Brazilian international ends up leaving Anfield in the summer.
After taking over Paulo Fonseca, as the head coach of AS Roma, Jose Mourinho needs to make some key decisions in regards to his squad. With Edin Dzeko in the final phase of his career, the team lacks a proper long-term option at centre-forward.
Borja Mayoral enjoyed a positive end to the 2020/21 campaign, with nine of his ten goals coming after the turn of the year. However, Dzeko’s inevitable decline could pose multiple problems for the Giallorossi, as far as the attacking department is concerned. And that is where Jose Mourinho might want to eye a potential move for Roberto Firmino.
It is no secret that the Portuguese tactician rates Premier League players highly. As such, Firmino makes a strong case for being his ideal option at number nine, having made almost 300 competitive appearances for Liverpool, since joining the club in 2015.
The Brazilian international may not boast a particularly eye-catching goalscoring record. But, his extensive experience at the highest level of football, combined with his technical prowess should make him an ideal attacking partner for Mayoral next season.
Unfortunately, AS Roma are currently experiencing an economic crisis and may need to offload some of their star players if they are to afford Firmino this summer. The likes of Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicolo Zaniolo and Leonardo Spinazzola have all been linked with a move away from Rome, with the former reportedly being courted by Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking of Tottenham, the north London giants could become a shock potential destination for Roberto Firmino this summer for multiple reasons.
After enduring a difficult campaign under Mourinho, the Lilywhites are going through a summer of change. They have already hired ex-Juventus chief Fabio Paratici as the new sporting director while Nuno Espirito Santo was hired to replace the young interim coach Ryan Mason.
The biggest problem Tottenham face this summer is the uncertain future of star striker Harry Kane. The English international is reportedly unsettled at the club following continued failure to win silverware. This may ultimately force Spurs to cash in on him this summer, with Manchester City following him closely.
Kane’s potential departure should create a massive void in the attacking department. But in Firmino, Nuno will have a seasoned Premier League forward, who is more than capable of becoming an asset for the club.
Indeed, the Brazilian brings an abundance of experience and technical quality to the table. His ability to play quick one-twos as well as making clever runs out wide should combine well with the likes of Son Heung-Min, Giovani Lo Celso and Lucas Moura next season.
Unlike Roma, Tottenham Hotspur should not find it particularly difficult to afford Firmino either, especially if they do end up selling Kane in the summer. However, it won’t be surprising to see Nuno bring in another centre-forward instead of relying on a single player to replace the English international next season.
Having won the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League with Liverpool, it is only natural that Roberto Firmino may want to join a club that can directly compete for silverware. To that end, Atletico Madrid would perhaps be the dream destination.
The Mattress club are the current champions of Spain after winning La Liga last season. But despite their success, Diego Simeone’s men are facing some major problems in their squad, especially in the attacking unit where the club has appeared far too over-reliant on the services of Luis Suarez.
Although the Uruguayan international was one of the league’s top goalscorers last season, he faces an uncertain future at the club. Moreover, Atletico Madrid haven’t had much success with their other options including Moussa Dembele and Joao Felix. As such, they were notably linked with a move for Firmino earlier this year.
As mentioned earlier, the Liverpool forward does not offer productivity going forward. But it appears coach Simeone rates the Brazilian highly because of his familiarity with press-oriented football that is quite prevalent in Jurgen Klopp’s Gegenpressing philosophy.
Firmino’s work ethic, therefore, arguably makes him a better attacking outlet for Atletico when compared to Felix. He can thus offer excellent support for Suarez next season before eventually becoming the club’s primary centre-forward.
The addition of the former Hoffenheim starlet may also allow Atletico Madrid to offload Felix, who has failed to live up to the expectations following his big-money move from Benfica. The Portuguese sensation should not find any difficulties finding a suitor either, with Manchester City reportedly considering him as a potential alternative for Harry Kane and Erling Haaland.