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Exclusive: John Barnes Talks Salah, Nunez, And Makes Gakpo/Firmino Comparison

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Liverpool’s strong start to the season persisted on Sunday afternoon as they secured a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at Anfield. Goals from Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, and Mohamed Salah have demonstrated that Klopp’s side could contend for the title this year. We spoke with Liverpool legend, John Barnes, to get his insights on Nunez’s form and to discuss if Salah ranks as Liverpool’s all-time best player.

In this article:

  • Salah isn’t Liverpool’s greatest player. Yet.
  • Gakpo the new Firmino
  • Nunez’s redemption year

‘I Don’t Think He’s Our Greatest Ever Player’

One thing is certain: by the time Mohamed Salah hangs up his boots, he will be remembered as one of Liverpool’s greatest players. His prolific goal-scoring record since joining the Reds has endeared him to the fans, and there’s no sign of him slowing down this season. Recently, Chris Sutton boldly proclaimed Salah as Liverpool’s greatest ever player. However, Barnes points to Liverpool’s rich history and names the likes of Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard as contenders for the title of the club’s all-time greatest player.

“Mo Salah will go down in Liverpool history as a legend but I don’t think he’s our greatest ever player.

“If he stays here for the rest of his career and he guides us to more titles and a Champions League then he can be in consideration. Right now Kenny Daglish and Steven Gerrard are the top two because of their achievements and they had been at the club a long time.

“He’s a great player so it’s not an issue and he’s doing a fantastic job. Salah has had to be more creative since Bobby Firmino left the club whereas before he was asked to be the main goal scorer. His role has changed. He’s assisting more and playing as a team player.”

Barnes Draws Gakpo/Firmino Comparison

Liverpool’s forward line brims with talent, making it easy to overlook Cody Gakpo’s recent injury absence. His remarkable stint in the Netherlands and his captaincy of PSV at just 23 caught the eye of Europe’s elite clubs. When Liverpool signed him, many expected him to play as a wide forward. However, Gakpo has been deployed as a false nine, much like Roberto Firmino. This tactical shift, according to Barnes, offers Liverpool increased tactical flexibility.

“Gakpo is more of a Roberto Firmino type of player. He’ll drop off in the pockets, turn and play the ball in for the other attackers. The others are runners without the ball. Diaz does dribble a lot but he also makes runs from the wide position.

“Salah, Jota, Nunez aren’t the false nine types. Gakpo provides creativity from the central position which is a good option to have when Liverpool want to attack in a different manner.”

Liverpool are set to return to action this weekend, when they take on struggling Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Sunday afternoon, in a game they’ll be expected to win. The Reds are priced at 1/4 to win the match on bet365, and be sure to use the bet365 bonus code when signing up to this operator, as they have one of the best betting signup offers in the business.

Nunez’s Redemption Year

Darwin Nunez is vying with Gakpo for a starting spot in Liverpool’s frontline. The Uruguayan forward has begun his second season on Merseyside in impressive fashion, recovering well from a difficult first season. In their recent 3-0 triumph over Nottingham Forest, Nunez scored Liverpool’s second and set up Diogo Jota for the opener. This season, he boasts a tally of six goals and five assists in all contests. While Barnes hasn’t set a specific goal target for Nunez, he has expressed admiration for the striker’s performances in his sophomore season.

“If he scores 15 goals and we win the league I’ll be happy.

“I want him to help us win football matches and with his effort, determination and hard work has been very good. Last year he was in an inconsistent team so he was inconsistent and even then he still gave 100% effort and he gave us his all. This year he’s bearing the fruits of that. He can help us to win football matches.”

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