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Liverpool’s Firmino replacement could be Ligue 1 star Mbappe loves watching

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Roberto Firmino has been key to Liverpool in winning the Champions League and Premier League during Jurgen Klopp’s reign.

What Firmino offers to the Liverpool side is unique and not many strikers in world football have the profile to be able to do what he has done.

But, having recently turned 30, and with less than two years left on his contract, finding long-term replacements for the Brazilian must be in the forefront of minds at Anfield.

The signing of Diogo Jota in the summer of 2020 indicated that Michael Edwards and Co are already doing that.

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But replacing Firmino, who has made just the one start so far this season, will be easier said than done.

While there are interesting options out there, and one in particular, the Reds may opt for something different once they decide it is time to replace their No 9, with Jonathan David, of Ligue 1 outfit Lille, having previously been linked.

And on the latest episode of Analysing Anfield, Josh Williams talks about what Liverpool may do when the times comes.

“Because of how unique Firmino is, I’m not sure Liverpool will chase a like for like replacement for him,” said football scouting writer Williams.

“He’s unique and he doesn’t actually score that often.

“Liverpool could potentially look for a player who can deliver a bit more (in terms of goals). We know that’s not really Firmino’s responsibility and Klopp’s said in the past that teams are like an orchestra and you need different players to play different instruments.

“I’m not sure Liverpool will look for another Firmino. Statistically, according to the past year, the most statistically comparable player to Firmino in Europe’s top five leagues is Antoine Griezmann. But I can’t see that happening.

“The second is Gabriel Jesus, funnily enough, which won’t be happening. And then there’s a player there called Amine Gouiri, who plays for Nice in Ligue 1. He came through at Lyon and he’s very young.”

After Lyon, Gouiri made a £7m move in the summer of 2020 to Nice, where he has scored 21 goals in 50 games.

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Likened to Karim Benzema, and reportedly wanted by Zinedine Zidane when the French legend was in charge of Real Madrid, Kylian Mbappe is also an admirer of Gouiri.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe recently said: “I watch nearly all the Ligue 1 matches… I am following Nice particularly closely. Gouiri is really not bad at all!”

Williams continued: “He’s still only a kid but I wouldn’t be surprised if Liverpool were aware of him and just generally keeping track of him.

“He’s a player I’ve thought about flagging on this podcast before, just in terms of a scouting option and who’s looking good.

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“He’s 21-years-old and last season for Nice he scored 12, assisting seven. So far this season he’s scored five and assisted three. He’s been deemed as a big prospect for a few years now.

“But when it comes to replacing Firmino, I think Liverpool might go down a more of a Jonathan David route.

“I think they’ll go down the route of someone who can find the net a bit more.”

David is the joint top scorer in Ligue 1 with six goals in nine games with Gouiri just one behind on five.



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