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11th Mar 2023

BT Sport pundits end debate and pick Premier League’s best ever front three

Lee Costello

Now this is a toughie.

BT Sports pundits Steve McManaman and Joe Cole have ended the debate once and for all and picked the Premier League’s best ever front three.

With the era of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, Mohammad Salah and Sadio Mane coming to an end, it felt like a good time to reflect on previous front three combinations from the past.

Other contenders were:

  • Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry
  • Man United’s Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Chelsea’s Damien Duff, Arjen Robben, and Didier Drogba
    Front three

Joe Cole got the ball rolling, and he was quick to bring up the Arsenal trio that spearheaded the famous Invincibles in 2004.

“Firmino, Mane, Salah sit right up there with any of them. You’ve got Berkgamp, Henry, Pires, and then Robben, Duff, Drogba. I played in that team, they’re up there too.”

McManaman interjected with a stipulation, suggesting that trophies are a key factor in weighing up the winners.

Front three

“Do they need to win things? Do they need to win the Champions League, does that elevate them a little bit more?

“I wasn’t an Arsenal fan, but personally I loved watching Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires. That was a great three, and they were successful.

“But unfortunately the big one evaded them, so maybe that’s just knocked them down a little bit, but they were an exciting three.”

Cole was ready to give his final answer, and it probably isn’t the one that Liverpool fans wanted to hear.

“They were powerful too, they were big powerful men, but the one that my eyes are drawn to, if I had to pick just one and Liverpool won’t thank me for this, but [it’s] Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney.

“The simple reason is, at the time, Ronaldo was the best player in the world. Rooney was maybe in the top five in the world, and Tevez was in the top 10. I mean, that is staggering.”

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