Wayne Rooney believes Liverpool’s attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are still far off from emulating Manchester United’s famous strike force in 2008. Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez formed the attacking trident under Sir Alex Ferguson during the 2007-08 campaign and they went on to win a Champions League and Premier League double that year.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Rooney stressed that the current Reds frontline needs to find success in terms of Premier League medals before they are rated in the same category as United’s famous trio, he said: “I think they are very dangerous, Firmino works very hard to win the ball back and they have a lot of pace.
“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. The difference we had is Premier League winners’ medals. For them three to get to the level we were at, they need that wall behind them.”
Liverpool’s attacking prowess has often been undone by a relatively poor performance at the back but the signing of Virgil van Dijk is expected to improve this record in the long-run. Jurgen Klopp’s are already out of contention for the Cup competitions as well as the Premier League, and their quest for a trophy lies entirely on the Champions League.
Back in the Rafael Benitez era, the Reds had the potential to show up in the latter stages of the Champions League by maintaining their top-four in the Premier League, but the current competition in the top-flight does not offer them a similar luxury.
Irrespective of this, the Merseyside giants are certain to reach at least the quarter-final stage of the elite competition this term after they clinched a comfortable 5-0 win on the road to Porto which should progress from the round of 16 with a home-leg scheduled next month.