Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Reds player ratings
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Gabby Agbonlahor has ripped into Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino and played down the club’s chances of winning the Premier League this season. The former Aston Villa frontman believes Jurgen Klopp needed to add a new attacker to his squad in the recently-closed transfer window.
Liverpool made just one signing ahead of the 2021/22 season, triggering RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate’s £36million release clause.
The Frenchman has yet to start a game under Klopp, though, with Joel Matip partnering Virgil van Dijk this term.
Meanwhile, title rivals Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have all strengthened vital areas.
Many Liverpool fans wanted the club to pursue a prolific goalscorer to play as the centre-forward in Klopp’s front three.
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The club’s reluctance to do so has left Firmino, Diogo Jota and Divock Origi as Klopp’s striker options.
But Agbonlahor hasn’t held back on his criticism of Firmino, claiming his Premier League strike-rate was better than the Brazilian’s.
The 34-year-old thinks Liverpool will miss out on the title due to the club’s failure to acquire attacking reinforcements in the summer.
He said: “They will be in a race, but for me, they won’t win it because they have missed out this transfer window by not bringing in another attacking player.
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“Firmino’s strike-rate is worse than mine, and that’s saying something. He is injured now.
“If you ask Liverpool fans, they will say the same. If you ask ex-Liverpool players, they will say the same.
On his Instagram, Jose Enrique said that he couldn’t believe they didn’t bring in another forward.
“If one of Jota, Mane or Salah gets injured, two of them are going to the Africa Cup of Nations, so you need better squad depth.”
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Agbonlahor’s claim was incorrect, as he scored 73 goals in 322 Premier League games (0.23 per game) whilst Firmino has netted 67 in 214 (0.31 per game).
But other than his first-choice front three, Klopp has Firmino, Origi and Takumi Minamino to choose from after Xherdan Shaqiri’s summer exit.
There will be serious concern over his options in January, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane expected to leave for the African Cup on Nations.
Firmino will likely play a prominent role during that period, which could be crucial in the Reds’ battle to reclaim the title.
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