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Liverpool don’t need Roberto Firmino, they need a goalscorer

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In a summer dominated by Liverpool’s attempts to sign players from midtable Premier League teams, Roberto Firmino becomes the first foreign-based player to be seriously linked with a move to Anfield.

10.12.2011, easy Credit Stadion, Nuernberg, GER, 1.FBL, 1. FC Nürnberg/ Nuernberg vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, im Bild:Timmy Simons (Nuernberg #2) im Zweikampf mit Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim #22). // during the Match GER, 1.FBL, 1. FC Nürnberg/ Nuernberg vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on 2011/12/10, easy Credit Stadion, Nuernberg, Germany..EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Will..***** ATTENTION - OUT OF GER, CRO *****

Firmino is a player the Reds have scouted for over a year, first linked with a move for the Brazilian last March. It’s now reported that Liverpool could make their move for the 23-year old, who is valued at €30 million.

But signing Firmino should be low down on Liverpool’s priorities this summer – even if/when Raheem Sterling leaves the club.

The primary reason is because Liverpool’s top priority – by a distance – must be to sign a high quality centre-forward.

Indeed, get the Nathaniel Clyne deal tied up and then the only priority should be signing a proven forward of quality.

Secondly, Liverpool spent £25 million on a very similar player – in terms of position – in Adam Lallana last summer. Whether you think Lallana is up to standard or not, it would represent another astronomical waste of money to sign another player in the same position 12 months apart – much like signing left sided centre-back Dejan Lovren for £20 million less than a year after spending £18 million on left sided centre-back, and superior defender, Mamadou Sakho.

Third, Liverpool don’t need another attacking midfielder even if/when Sterling leaves.

The Reds have Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Lazar Markovic and Jordon Ibe. Plus other midfielders who are capable of playing in advanced midfield roles if needed – James Milner and Jordan Henderson.

If signing Firmino would potentially block the development of either Coutinho or Ibe, such a signing would cause more harm than good.

Last month Rodgers had the audacity to claim the club weren’t interested in signing Memphis Depay because “we’ll have other priorities we’re looking at for the summer.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 8, 2014: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia is substituted by manager Brendan Rodgers during the Premier League match against Chelsea at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rodgers said: “We already have four wingers at the club.

“We’ve got young Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic, so we’ll have other priorities we’re looking at for the summer.”

Even with Sterling gone, Coutinho has been used on the left of a front three frequently throughout his Liverpool career. Firmino is not better than Coutinho.

The signing of Milner, and the reported guarantee of him being used in a centre-midfield role, signals that Rogers intends to play either 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 next season.

A midfield trio of Emre Can, Henderson and Milner is largely expected – meaning Coutinho, a forward and one of Lallana, Markovic or Ibe filling the other attacking position.

Then there’s the option to switch to two up front and use a midfield diamond – with a new forward alongside either Daniel Sturridge or Danny Ings and Coutinho at the top of the diamond. No room for any of the other attacking midfielders.

Of course, there have been questions raised about Markovic’s suitability for the Premier League, but as previously explained, the Serbian has never been given a chance in his favoured wide left attacking role.

The only way Firmino would be needed is if Rodgers gave up on Markovic already. Which would represent, again, a complete waste of £20 million.

With Coutinho, Lallana, Markovic, Ibe, Ings, Sturridge, Divock Origi and then one big name proven centre-forward (whoever that may be, as long as it’s not Christian Benteke), Liverpool have enough attacking options without Firmino.

End the wasteful spending on players that aren’t needed, focus on ones that are.

If there’s money still available after Sterling leaves, spend it on a forward who can provide goals. If there’s money left after that, spend it on a defensive midfielder (assuming Clyne is done).

Firmino might be nice, but Liverpool have much bigger priorities this summer.

Guest submitted article

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