SINGAPORE - Even as Liverpool's star forwards and expensive signings earn plaudits for their fine start to the English Premier League season, former star striker Robbie Fowler feels it is their group of unsung heroes, led by captain Jordan Henderson, who will be key to the club's success this term.
Now a club ambassador, he told The Straits Times: "Every team needs workers. It should never be just about Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Firmino, Diogo Jota and Virgil van Dijk only. We also need the likes of Joel Matip and Fabinho.
"Matip has done well in defence, while Fabinho has been the best holding midfielder in the Premier League."
While other title contenders such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City made headlines with marquee signings in the summer transfer window, Liverpool attracted attention by adding only defender Ibrahima Konate.
Speculation was also rife about the club's ability to hang on to Salah, Mane and Firmino, with Real Madrid keen on the Egyptian and the other two forwards' form fluctuating.
But the man revered by the Anfield faithful as "God", said: "There's much talk on the front three not passing to each other or not doing what they should be doing. I'm a striker myself, and I think at times you need to be selfish.
"I don't think Salah is better than me but that's me being egotistical. I think he is a great player. At times, he looks really unorthodox, he looks uncomfortable, but he's uncomfortably brilliant when he gets the ball in front of him. He scored goals from the get go and he's continuing to score goals.
"Mane has missed a few chances, he looks a little bit anxious in front of goal at times. But I don't think there's anything wrong with his performances, which have been first class.
"Firmino may not score as many as Salah or Mane but they will tell you they enjoy playing with him because of the chances they get and the space he creates for them."
Fowler did not want to second-guess Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and recommend specific signings, but would prefer if they retained their attackers while dipping into the market to mitigate for the loss of Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain, the injury-prone Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita, and the Africa Cup of Nations in January.
With the Reds joint-top with Chelsea ahead of Saturday's (Sept 25) match at Brentford, which will be telecast by Singtel via Singtel TV and Cast, Fowler insisted that Liverpool can be competitive even though they "are probably not as strong as some other teams in terms of depth".
"The first XI is as good as any team in world football, our players are exceptional," he argued. "We want them to remain free of injury, which we struggled with last season, but we also want them to be consistent.
"At the minute, they are playing well and are one of the stronger teams in the Premier League. It's not a necessity for the manager to go out there and and force players to come into the squad. But football has an incredible habit of changing overnight, so we'll see what's around the corner."
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