Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reserved special praise for Roberto Firmino after his excellent performance against Burnley at the weekend.
The Brazilian set up the Reds’ second goal for Sadio Mane while he scored the third with a perfectly placed shot to secure the three points at Turf Moor. Klopp says Firmino is absolutely vital to how his team plays:
“Hopefully it stays like this, [him] hardly missing a game! He missed a few and that was not too cool, but Bobby – what can I say about him that not everybody knows already?”
“He’s an incredibly important player. He enjoys it so much to play in this team, to be really there with all these super guys around him.”
“That’s what helps him then, of course: if you have the speed around you, you can be this little cheeky guy in between the lines, being there and scoring the goals. Yeah, he’s a very valuable player for us.”
Although he is the least vaunted of the fabled front three, Firmino is key to the forward line’s success. By coming deep, he drags out defenders while allowing the likes of Mohamed Salah and Mane space to come inside and play more centrally.
The 27-year-old’s defensive work is just as important, pressing high off the ball, as well as moving into midfield to tackle opponents and set off counter-attacks.
As Klopp says, Liverpool fans will be hoping he stays fit for the remainder of the campaign as they look to challenge for the Premier League title.