clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Firmino Talks Fight To Keep His Place In the Liverpool Starting XI

The Reds striker is facing more competition than at any other time in his Anfield career

Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Liverpool’s vaunted attacking trio occupy positions 1, 2 and 3 in the Premier League scoring charts.

However, it isn’t the three strikers Reds supporters have been accustomed to seeing over the past few years, with second year forward, Diogo Jota and his 12 league goals joining Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the race for the Golden Boot (good luck catching Salah and his 19 goals).

Roberto Firmino has at times seemed the odd man out this season, with Jota playing nearly twice as many minutes as the Brazilian so far in the campaign, often times in Firmino’s preferred center forward position.

A once irreplaceable cog in Jürgen Klopp’s trophy-laden squads, the 30-year-old is seeing more competition for his place in the starting XI than at any other time in his Anfield career.

“We have so many great players who have shown they belong in the starting XI,” Firmino admitted in recent quotes for the official Liverpool match-day program.

“It’s healthy competition and the manager decides on the starting XI. I respect his decision.

“I always want to be contributing to the team by playing first of all and I will fight for my place by training hard and doing my best.”

One of the first Klopp era players to earn a song from the Kop, Firmino has always brought a unique skill set to the false nine role, with the unbridled flair and joy with which he plays the game matched only by his indefatigable work ethic as the pure embodiment of Klopp’s high pressing philosophy.

“I need to continue doing what I have been doing the last few games—helping with marking in particular, tactically and with goals as well.”

“I demand a lot of myself,” he says. “I always want to be contributing with goals and assists but three points is the most important thing.

“I think about the team first of all and then the individual things.

Apologies, reminiscing down the “Firmino Skills” search result rabbit hole ought not to be experienced alone.

“The group comes first.”

With a little over a year left on his current contract, there won’t be a single Liverpool fan who won’t be rooting for Firmino to rediscover the magic that has endeared him to a generation of supporters.