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Liverpool are somehow brilliant despite year-long 'rift' between teammates

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has dismissed rumours of a rift between team-mates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. There has been speculation in recent months suggesting the Reds duo do not get along, rumours given further credence in October last year when Mane reacted furiously to Salah’s decision to shoot instead of a pass to him during a Premier League win at Burnley.

Robertson, though, has rubbished those suggestions, insisting such a reaction is natural for players who are paid to be selfish in front of goal.

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The Scotland international says all of Liverpool’s front players, including Roberto Firmino and new signing Diogo Jota, have a close relationship that has helped drive their recent success. “The relationship [between the front players] off the pitch is really strong, and on the pitch, the link-up play and everything is always good,” Robertson told the Liverpool Echo.

But these players are also paid to be selfish and we need them to score goals and take risks in the final third, and we add [Diogo] Jota into that category now. When they are in front of goal, we expect them to shoot and score. “There have been certain occasions where people say Bobby could have passed, Sadio could have passed, or Mo could have passed, but these guys are paid money to make split-second decisions and score goals for us.

“The three, plus Diogo, are incredible players and they have all showed that since they have come to the club at the highest level. “The best thing for Liverpool fans is that they are still improving and they are getting better year on year. There is still more to come from them. “They are fantastic to play with and when I look up, I’m never short of options. It is a pleasure to play with all of them.

Their relationship is really strong just like every other relationship in the squad and that is why over the last couple of years we have been quite successful. “You get nowhere without these relationships.”

Robertson says such relationships are replicated across the Liverpool dressing room and is one of the reasons why they have been so successful in recent seasons, winning the Premier League, Champions League and World Club Championship in the space of two years.

We are really close as a group and we have a really close-knit group of players,” he added. “Me, Trent [Alexander-Arnold], Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain], Hendo [Jordan Henderson] and Milly [James Milner] are in a pack and we lost [Adam] Lallana in the summer who was a big loss to the whole squad, but especially us.

“The Dutch duo I get on really well with – Gini [Wijnaldum] and Virg [van Dijk] – and then Mo, Sadio and the Brazilians [Firmino, Fabinho and Alisson]. “The squad is so tight and that is why I love going into work every single day.”


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