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Contractual conundrum stares Edwards and Klopp in the face

Liverpool are in for a tricky period where many first team big names are entering their 30s. This means that the club will now have to begin focusing on which players deserve a renewed contract and which do not. No need to throw a hue and cry right now, but a period of transition might await.

Over the years, Anfield and its front three strikers have been a match made in heaven. In this decade we have seen a couple of great front three striking partnerships. 

Namely Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling who almost won the Premier League title and then departed for their own reasons, which was then succeeded by a prolific striking partnership of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.

These three were the ones who ended the 30 year wait for a Premier League trophy.

Jordan Henderson Premier League

We’ve almost gotten accustomed to some cheeky trickery and no look passed by Firmino. Every time the ball is at the feet of Salah, he looks busy enough to beat the defender and cut on the inside and take a whack from a few yards out. Mané with his quick feet beats the defender on the outside, cuts in and shoots in the far corner.

However, truth being told, all good things must come to and end. Alas, that is a fact of life!

The strike partnership has been playing together for over four seasons and have managed to combine as well as any set of strikers in world football. 

(Sipa USA)

(Sipa USA)

But many would argue and contest this, they are now slowly entering the dusk of their careers, the dreaded 30s!

We’ve seen time and again with a few players like Steven Gerrard, James Milner and Adrian, that Liverpool give one year rolling contracts to players who are above the age of 30. 

This policy puts forth a conundrum for the management. Given that Firmino, Mané and Salah will all be entering their 30s by the time the next season is over, what will happen when it comes to contract extensions?

Will all three get contract renewals which see them stay here till 33-34 years of age which would see Liverpool change their policy? 

Or will a couple of them get a renewal while one is sold to generate funds for younger players? Your guess is as good as mine!

If we look at this from a perspective of merit, Salah deserves a contract given that he has been unbelievably consistent over four seasons. So giving him a new contract is something that can’t be overlooked.

(Sipa USA)

(Sipa USA)

However, when it comes to Mané, we know form is temporary and class is permanent, but the fact is that he has been a shadow of his former self.

This leaves us with Firmino, I feel he will end up becoming a scapegoat and will be the first of the front three to leave. (It pains me when I write this, but this is what I feel!)

This summer and the next is a big one for Jurgen Klopp and Michael Edwards. 

All the top players are up for contract negotiations. Alisson Becker, Fabinho, Virgil Van Dijk and captain fantastic, Jordan Henderson are all looking for contract extensions. This makes the entire scenario a bit more tricky as well.

The management is aware that it can’t just sit back and allow all these world-class players to run their contract down and grow old together. The fans will not be able to to bear-witness to another Georginio Wijnaldum situation.

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool embraces Roberto Firmino of Liverpool following the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 11, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.

Liverpool will not be able to afford stupendous salaries in excess of £200,000 - £250,000 per week for eight or nine first team players. That is not how Liverpool functions.

There is too much left to sort out from a contractual perspective and the time is slowly beginning to run out. 

There is no cause for alarm just yet, but things need to be sorted out before it’s too late. Liverpool fans need to brace themselves for another mini-transition period over the next couple of summers.