Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has tipped Roberto Firmino to follow Sadio Mane out of the club.
Mane joined Bayern Munich after days of speculation. The development was made official by the German champions yesterday.
Mane's departure has brought the era of the famous triumvirate of Salah, Mane and Firmino to an end.
Salah and Firmino are both set to enter the final 12 months of their contracts and quite naturally, their future is up in the air as well.
Downing, who was at Liverpool from 2011 to2013, has suggested that Roberto Firmino could be the next of the famous trio to exit the club.
Downing reasoned that Firmino had a more peripheral role last season with players like Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz stepping in. Speaking ahead of the 360 Sports TV Masters Cup, Downing said, as quoted by Teamtalk:
“Towards the end of last season, Roberto Firmino didn’t play as often as he would like. He was a regular at one point and played nearly every game."
“It’s the cycle of football. Diogo Jota came in and surprised everyone. I knew he was a good player, but he got goals and hit the ground running."
“Then there’s Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Luis Díaz, who got shifted into the side ahead of Firmino."
Downing suggested that Firmino will play as a backup for new signing Darwin Nunez this season.
The former England winger has claimed that this could be Firmino's last season at Anfield and he could even leave in January. He added:
"You’ve always got to be at the top of your game for clubs like Liverpool because they need to keep progressing, it will be interesting to see."
“I hope Darwin Nunez hits the ground running. I see Firmino being a backup player to him. If they can get Firmino back to the form he was at a couple of seasons ago, it’s another great dimension for Liverpool."
“But this will probably be his last year, or he might do until January.”
Liverpool are readying themselves for the future
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is evidently looking to prepare the club for the future and the club-record signing of Darwin Nunez is a clear indication of that.
The Reds already have Jota and Diaz who are both 25 years of age and have been thoroughly impressive since their arrival.
Nunez could be the final piece of the jigsaw as Klopp looks to prepare the Merseysiders for life without Salah, Mane and Firmino.