Liverpool should be doing all they can to keep Roberto Firmino at the club, says Danny Murphy, but bringing in Kylian Mbappe as a replacement for the Brazilian could make Jurgen Klopp’s side even scarier.
The Reds have been blowing away all comers for over 12 months now.
Champions League glory in 2018-19 has been complemented by UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup successes in the current campaign.
A 22-point lead has also been opened up at the top of the Premier League table, with long-awaited title glory seemingly set to be delivered at Anfield.
Firmino has played a leading role in the progress made by Liverpool , with the hard-working 28-year-old a perfect fit for Klopp’s system despite never being prolific.
Murphy recognises that the South American is a key cog in a well-oiled machine, but has seen speculation link him with a move to Bayern Munich, as well as the Reds alleged interest in a stunning raid on Paris Saint-Germain for World Cup winner Mbappe .
“Could you get in another striker who gets in as many goals as Firmino? Yes,” former Liverpool midfielder Murphy told talkSPORT.
“Would they make as many assists as Firmino, and help the cohesion of the team as good? Maybe not. But there are players out there.
“Firmino is a beautiful kind of complement for the Liverpool system and the way the two wingers play.
“As a three they’re tremendous, aren’t they? But if you were to say ‘no-one is like Firmino. He’s quite exceptional and unique and he’s a wonderful player’, it’s a bit like when Kevin Keegan left; Kenny Dalglish came in.
“Luis Suarez left, ‘Oh my God, who’s going to replace him?’ And then you’ve got [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah and Firmino now.
“Firmino is well loved, as Suarez was. Rush left, [John] Aldridge came in and scored goals. Football does move on.
“Is he replaceable? Yes. Anybody is. It would change the dynamic.”
Murphy added: “If Liverpool were to lose Firmino and go and get Mbappe, would that be a more scary front three?
“Would he complement the two as much? It’s a debate. Nobody can give me a fact.
“I think if Mbappe was playing up front with Mane and Salah then that would be more scary than Firmino, Salah and Mane. That’s just me.
“I’m not belittling what Firmino’s done, he’s a wonderful footballer.”
Firmino has netted 76 times across 228 appearances for Liverpool and has maintained his record in 2019-20 of having reached double figures in all five of his seasons on Merseyside.