Everton striker Wayne Rooney has acknowledged Liverpool’s formidable front three- Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah- but couldn’t resist a cheeky dig in his assessment of the trio. Salah’s brace against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday took his tally to 28 goals in all competitions in his debut campaign with the Merseysiders, meaning that Firmino, Mane and Salah have contributed a combined 56 goals so far this campaign.
Rooney, who won five Premier League titles during his spell at Old Trafford, was asked on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football about playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.
The triumvirate of Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez won both the Premier League and the Champions League under Sir Alex Ferguson and England’s leading goal-scorer recognises the similarities between the two set-ups.
“I think they are very dangerous,” Rooney admitted on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football yesterday. (h/t Liverpool Echo)
“Firmino works very hard to win the ball back and they have a lot of pace. As good as they are, Salah takes them to the next level. Alex Ferguson used to let us attack how we wanted but if you’re on the wing, you had to track back on the wing.
“We had a good compromise because me and Tevez would do a lot more work defensively than Cristiano. But with Cristiano, you knew he would win us those big games with the big moments. With any other player, you probably wouldn’t but with Cristiano, he was that good you had to accommodate him.
“I would gladly do that for him to score big goals and help us win trophies.”
But when asked if Liverpool’s dangerous front three could emulate what the United troika did then, the Everton man pointed out one difference between the two.
“I think it would be difficult,” he added.
“The difference we had is Premier League winners’ medals. We had real quality behind us and the defence was solid. For them three to get to the level we were at, they need that wall behind them.”
It is true we haven’t won the league title since 1990 but Salah, Mane and Firmino are capable of delivering that. As Rooney says, they are very dangerous and there is no doubting the work-ethic and effort put in by our forwards every game.
To arrest our defensive problems, Jurgen Klopp has signed Virgil van Dijk. Let us hope that the Dutchman gets used to the intensity and provides the solid wall we need in order to win the league.