Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

The season is over. A new regime takes the reigns at Anfield. And with every takeover there comes a certain level of roster turnover. Liverpool will be no different under Arne Slot’s stewardship. I believe that there will be additions and subtractions at every level on the pitch. However, I think the biggest decisions on the table for both player and club are on the front line. Do I think Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Diaz are poised to stay with Liverpool? Let’s see who should and who shouldn’t (in my opinion, obviously).

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DARWIN NUNEZ

Myself and the rest of the ASTVTNP crew have cultivated a reputation of being Darwin Nunez haters. While we’ve vented our frustrations with the Uruguayan on many occasions, I wouldn’t say there is much malice in our criticism. Nevertheless, when you fluff as many chances in front of net as Nunez you are going to catch heat. So I’ll turn my DDT (Darwin Defamation Team) card in for the moment to make this statement: I wouldn’t sell Darwin Nunez this summer under any circumstances.

Now whether or not Nunez decides he wants to move on is a completely different story. A vocal group of douchenozzles forced him to scrub the majority of his Instagram and go dark for a bit across social media before coming back slowly. As much as we want to downplay that, a moment like that could sour any human being on their situation. But should Nunez decide to leave and cite this as a straw that broke the camel’s back, nobody could fault him.

ASTV Presents: The Darwin Dilemma

I personally think a change of philosophy will suit Nunez better than any other player currently donning the LFC red. There are still warts to attend to and I am going to have faith that Arne Slot has the tonic to cure them. Just go look what he did with Santiago Gimenez at Feyenoord. It is not a stretch to say that Gimenez doesn’t have even half the physical tools Darwin possesses. You have to give this man a chance to keep Darwin onside (literally and metaphorically) and reward us, even the unworthy ones, with the #9 we all know Nunez can be.

Barcelona is prying around as they do. Arsenal are lurking as well. I just don’t see this being the year the club cuts bait. This is a man who was on the escalator to his prime. But while that escalator may be broken at the minute, as Mitch Hedberg once said, a broken escalator just becomes stairs. There is still upward mobility in my eyes.

SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?


LUIS DIAZ

Nobody should have to go through the strife that Luis Diaz went through this season. Football is beyond secondary when your family is in peril. Luckily for Diaz, he had a happy ending. Luckily for us supporters, Diaz went on to be one of the most industrious players in our club’s history.

With that being said though, industry and end product can sometimes find themselves in different sections of the football mall. I will never question the Colombian’s commitment, drive, tireless effort, or willingness to sacrifice over any 90 minutes. But, I am not alone in having trepidation about his finishing or better yet his indecisiveness about shooting. On so many occasions, especially in the latter part of this season, Diaz would dribble past five people and get in a great position only to make an errant pass, run the ball into the keeper, or send his effort into the waiting arms of a fan in the nineteenth row.

The other thing going against Diaz at the moment is the wealth of options in his spot. Darwin arguably plays better out left. It is also where Cody Gakpo shined in shifts this campaign. Should we move on from Diaz, there won’t be a gaping hole left behind. I’m not saying that Gakpo and Nunez, as well as several youngsters, will bring the same energy to the table that Diaz brings. But of any of the three players that could fetch Michael Edwards a nice chunk of change this summer, Lucho is the most expendable.

Now in terms of suitors, Diaz seems to have plenty. Real Madrid turned his head early on. The ever-linked Barcelona have thrown their name in the hat as well. PSG, despite shying away from their free-spending ways, look like a viable candidate for Diaz’s services too. The latter of the three has reportedly put a preliminary £75m bid at Michael Edwards and FSG’s feet. That money alone could fund a partner for Virg at the back and a replacement for Caoimhín Kelleher if our backup netminder does indeed move on this window.

Would I love to keep Diaz for depth and reliability? Absolutely. Do I think he should take the opportunity to get a pay bump elsewhere? Absolutely as well. I think the mutually beneficial thing for all parties in regards to Lucho is to find a good price and a good landing spot and get a deal done sooner rather than later.

SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?

MOHAMED SALAH

This is by far the toughest of the three to gauge. Mo is one of the, if not THE, most valuable player at the club. 20+ goals per year, EVERY YEAR, is not something that grows on trees. He radiates positive energy and is a gifted playmaker. Our Egyptian King has bailed this club out on numerous occasions and put trophies in the hall that we’ll all cherish forever.

But we saw a different side of Mohamed Salah after he returned from injury. His first major malady with the club came on international duty. Once he was healthy, something just seemed off. That ever-present smile was often replaced by blank expressions or grimaces of disappointment and anger. Our King’s crown was rusting and it all came to a head in the 2-2 draw against West Ham. His back-and-forth with Jurgen on the touchline as he was about to enter the game was as uncharacteristic as a behavior could be for Mo. Was this months of frustration coming to a head as Liverpool’s proverbial Rome burned? Or was it him lashing out and sending a message that Jurgen leaving wasn’t going to be something he’d shed a tear over?

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Now in terms of impact, there is no direct replacement for Mohamed Salah within any budget FSG will bestow to Edwards, Hughes, and company. Even if the Saudi Pro League’s north of £100m bid is on the table, getting Salah’s production back in one fell swoop is damn near impossible. He seemed ready to go for the final month and change and if he decides it’s over club presidents will be falling over themselves to get his signature. However, once cooler heads seemingly prevailed in the past few weeks, it is looking increasingly more likely he wants to see out his contract. Whether or not Edwards and friends will let him do that is a different story.

I’ve flip-flopped on this topic more times than I can even remember and it’s only been a quarter of a year. Having a new manager have to fill a Mohamed Salah-sized hole in this roster just doesn’t seem fair. Yet if there is a profit to be made on Mo, time is running out. It is imperative that FSG and this new front office either rip the bandage off now or not. Having this conversation again in January is a complete waste of time. I’ve been firmly on Team Mo Mo Go Go since even before the West Ham strop. But as time has gone on, I believe there is enough money to be made with other outgoing transfers to justify hitching our wagons to Mo one final time.

SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?

So, do you agree with my choices? Which of this triumvirate do you see back with the club for 2024-25? Let us all know in the comments! All the socials are linked at the top.

No host, no trivia, all gas, no brakes American Scouser Podcast

No Timucin this week so no one to watch the kids…. and you get to see the result
  1. No host, no trivia, all gas, no brakes
  2. Well… We're Waiting!
  3. Thank you for calling, Please Hold For Arne Slot
  4. All Roads Lead To Mo
  5. Ugly Crying and Tissues
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