Mercato / Premier League / End of Salah-Mané-Firmino era and small revolution: Darwin Nuñez changes everything for Liverpool

There have been some famous attacking trios in the history of football. The rivalry between Barça’s MSN (Messi-Suarez-Neymar) and Real Madrid’s BBC (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano Ronaldo) has set Europe on fire for the past decade. Elle had ended in 2017 when Neymar chose to give up Barça for PSG. In the same year, Mo Salah joined Liverpool. It was not necessarily suspected then, but the trio that the Egyptian had just completed with Sadio Mané (arrived in 2016) and Roberto Firmino (arrived in 2015) would also mark the Old Continent with its imprint.

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The numbers are already remarkable. The three of them, the Egyptian (156 goals), the Senegalese (120 goals) and the Brazilian (98 goals) weigh a paltry 374 goals for the Reds. More statistics and the font that symbolizes the impact of this trio on their return to Liverpool. It is inseparable from the European title won by the Reds in 2019, the first for the Mersey club since the magical night of Istanbul in 2005. It is just as much of the English title taken in 2020. A trophy of Liverpool had been waiting for 30 years.

There will be so much left of this trio

Two titles that owe nothing to chance. I have come to realize this regularity that has replaced Liverpool with the first plan. The Reds, who have been on the Premier League podium for the past three years, more than three-time Ligue des champions finalists in the last five editions, have marked a rich history in the success of the Mersey club. A legendary page that does not owe everything to the Salah-Mané-Firmino trio. Other individuals were essential, especially Virgil van Dijk. Jürgen Klopp is the indispensable architect. More Liverpool did not write more than it was written, it was not written three times to tip so many games in favor of the Reds.

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Why trio, not only numbers remain, a record and a glorious period of a mythical club. There is still a style, a football idea materialized by Klopp. There was not much to bet that Firmino, Mané and Salah would dominate England and Europe together when they arrived from Hoffenheim, Southampton and Roma respectively. Klopp made it a magical, ultra-complementary triplet, where each enhanced the other without ever distorting his own style. This is the success of a strategy that Liverpool have not stopped focusing on.

Liverpool, King of Anticipation

The arrival of Darwin Nuñez is the symbol. Elle is pursuing a transition that has already begun this season. Firmino had gradually lost his place in Klopp’s starting line-up to Diogo Jota. The 25-year-old Le Portugais, bought for 45 million euros in Wolverhampton in 2020, was premiered in the new building. Last winter, the Reds added a second in recruiting Luis Diaz to FC Porto, for 47 million euros. And after recruiting the two players, now 25, to prepare for the succession of the trio, Liverpool put 100 million euros on the table, bonus include, to get a third man of 22 years.

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His recruitment first signals the anticipatory ability of the Mersey club. He would not have agreed to this heavy investment without the prospect of Mané leaving. The Senegalese is getting closer to joining Bayern Munich. His arrival in Bavaria is currently being announced, and it remains an agreement to be found between Liverpool and the Bavarian club. This is, a priori, the meaning of history. The formalization of his probable transfer will only confirm the end of an era for the Reds. And the beginning of a new era that Liverpool is just as glorious.

A revolution in the animation offensive

More than reaching Nuñez also involves a revolutionary evolution technique for Liverpool. Firmino was more of a facilitator, a center-forward designed to make Salah and Mané shine with their creativity and ability to free up space, than a true striker at heart. Mané, often lined up at the top this season, also fits into a totally different record, all in speed and percussion. Nuñez, meanwhile, is a newcomer to both modern and classic, a surface player with individual qualities that also offers the prospect of creating his own opportunities. His profile significantly changes the face of the Reds’ offensive animation.

Of course, Salah is still there. The Egyptian remains the absolute icon of Liverpool. How long? That is the whole question, as the future of the idol of the red people, at the end of a contract in a year, is still uncertain. Liverpool have already changed their era anyway. The irresistible rise of Luis Diaz, who started Klopp in the Champions League final, was already moving in that direction. The recruitment of Darwin Nuñez, Mané’s departure companion, is no further proof of the Liverpool tournament. The glorious era of this magical trio is over. More tomatoes can be from other beaux lendemains before them.

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