Written By: Hasib Afzal (@LFCTalk7) – LFC Transfer Room Correspondent.
Roberto Firmino has been reminding Liverpool fans what they have been missing recently with a brace for Brazil following their 5-0 victory over Bolivia. Goals on either side of half time took his tally to 13 goals in 44 appearances for Brazil. The Liverpool number 9, no doubt, can still cut it at the top level, but his form for Liverpool this season has been underwhelming to say the least.Embed from Getty Images
The statistics don’t do any favours for Firmino. With just 4 goals in the last 27 appearances for Liverpool, it is hardly a return worth writing home about. The tactical purists, however, would argue that what Firmino does off the ball does not get enough praise. His ability to create space for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane is often brushed aside in favour of the high scoring duo. The Brazilian forward is also a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s press, with him leading from the front.
However, the Roberto Firmino for Brazil’s national team is somewhat different and his 2 goals against Bolivia demonstrated why. The first goal was an epitome of what Liverpool fans have been asking for; A great cross from the left was slid home by Firmino, it was a typical ‘number 9’ goal. Yet the second goal resembled what Firmino has been doing at Liverpool time and time again. After winning the ball back in midfield, Firmino carried on his run before slotting home – following a through pass.Embed from Getty Images
Firmino has ,no doubt, been influential in Liverpool’s success over the last couple of seasons. Yet this time things seem a little different. With Kylian Mbappe, Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland all potentially available next year, some sections of Liverpool supporters have called on FSG to make that marquee signing.
Roberto Firmino, nevertheless, still holds a deep place in the heart of Liverpool fans. So what does Klopp do? Does he persist with Firmino in his current role, or make a tactical switch? Does he roll the dice, or stick with what he knows? Given Klopp’s man management skills, the latter seems more likely. However, with competition for all places at an all time high, the number 9 position is still up for grabs.