Liverpool have been pretty busy during the summer transfer window, having already signed the midfield duo of Naby Keita and Fabinho from Leipzig and Monaco respectively. However, club legend John Barnes is absolutely insistent that coach Jurgen Klopp signs a striker during the summer transfer window. He is of the opinion that Roberto Firmino is better off playing as an attacking midfielder behind an archetypal No.9.
When Barnes was asked about backups for Salah, Sadio Mane and Firmino, he said, “I would think so. I’m hoping but I’m not expecting Mo Salah to score 40 goals next season or as many as he did this year. We can’t think ‘He’ll definitely do that again next year’.”
“That’s where I’d like us to have a centre-forward. Firmino is a fantastic player and I’d have him in the team all day long but he’s not a No 9. I’d like a penalty box player because there are times when it’s not an open game and teams won’t attack us to leave space.
“That’s a classic No 9 that he [Klopp] might be looking to get in.”
Firmino had a terrific season with the Reds in 2017-18. He netted 26 goals and provided 14 assists across all competitions as his team reached the Champions League final. However, Barnes thinks that the Brazilian is a No.10 and Klopp must focus on signing a striker.
When asked about Klopp needing a new No.10, the Jamaican-born former winger said, “Not necessarily. [Philippe] Coutinho filled that role.
“If he gets a centre-forward, Firmino can play that role. Firmino is not a striker, he plays off the centre-forward. That’s his real position. Firmino could be a No 10. If you’re asking whether I’d rather get a new No.10 or a classic No.9, I’d rather have the striker because of Firmino being able to play behind the striker.”