Garth Crooks has suggested that Liverpool star Roberto Firmino can fix the ‘obvious rift’ between team-mates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Firmino, 27, produced another impressive performance for the Reds as Jurgen Klopp’s side continued their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 3-0 win at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Despite putting Liverpool on top of the Premier League table with a maximum 12 points, the result was overshadowed by a late outburst from Mane.
The Senegal striker appeared to be fuming after Salah failed to pass to him when he was in a good position towards the of the game.
He didn’t hide his anger when he was substituted shortly after the incident and could be seen shouting at Liverpool’s coaching staff before he was comforted by several team-mates, including Firmino.
Although Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp has been quick to play down the incident, Crooks believes that there is an ‘obvious rift’ between the two strikers and that Firmino could be the key to fixing it.
“Perhaps Firmino can heal the obvious rift between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane because it would appear manager Jurgen Klopp is having difficulty,” he wrote after including the Brazilian in his BBC Sport Team of the Week.
“For Mane to explode so publicly, as he did at being substituted after Salah had so clearly ignored him on two occasions to score, was completely justified.
“Salah can’t play this game on his own – a point Firmino clearly understands.”
Crooks was also full of praise for the Brazilian’s performance at Turf Moor, which saw him become the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals.
The forward completed the victory with a well-struck finish in the 80th minute after a Chris Wood own-goal and a Mane strike had put Liverpool two goals ahead in the first half.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when Roberto Firmino is on song so are Liverpool,” Crooks wrote.
“The Brazilian orchestrated a masterclass by the Merseysiders against a Burnley side who, but for one brief occasion, never looked in the match.”