Liverpool legend Ian Rush has paid the Reds’ front three the ultimate compliment by comparing them to the attacking trio he played in the last time Liverpool won the league.
Rush was partnered by Peter Beardsley and John Barnes in a fearsome attack which led the Reds to glory 29 years ago, and he sees similarities in the current group.
“Honestly, I think this front three is very similar in many ways to the unit I played in back in 1990,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Barnsie actually played a lot through the middle as centre-forward that season, just like [Mohamed] Salah does now, even though people see them as wide players.
“We had Peter Beardsley dropping deeper into the midfield to create space and be creative, and [Roberto] Firmino has been outstanding at doing that, probably the best around at the moment in that role. It’s about relationships and understanding — and you can’t be taught that.”
This is the highest of praise for Liverpool’s electric front three. Rush, Beardsley and Barnes is a historically great frontline who powered Liverpool to their last title triumph in 1990. So for one of the men involved to say that this group is similar is pretty staggering. It’s interesting what Rush says about the understanding between the players simply being intuitive, because that’s how it looks watching this current crop of Reds attackers. Firmino, Salah and Sadio Mane seem to have a sixth sense about where their team mates are going to be and they find them with regularity. That harks back to the fantastic interplay of Messrs Rush, Barnes and Beardsley. As Rush says, Beardsley was the creative one playing slightly deeper in that line up, which is what we’ve seen Firmino do this season. The Brazilian’s game has evolved and, even if his numbers might be down, he arguably contributes more now than he ever did for Liverpool.