In August and September, Roberto Firmino recorded three goals and two assists in eight games, a solid return for the industrious striker but one many felt he would improve on as he worked back to match fitness following a summer with Brazil at the World Cup.
Instead, since then he has just two goals from 11 games. While he hasn’t been the only Liverpool attacker to struggle in front of goal in that time, his dip in form has been perhaps the most significant. Manager Jürgen Klopp, though, says he isn’t worried about Firmino.
“It’s absolutely okay and he is still an important player,” said Klopp when asked about his number nine’s recent dip in form. “That’s how it is with a player’s career—you have moments you fly and you cannot really explain it and other moments you have to work a bit harder.
“That’s exactly the case for him. It’s nothing to worry about or anything. It’s just a normal football season. We all go through these little holes or whatever and then everything will be fine again, especially with him because his attitude is absolutely phenomenal.”
Things have perhaps been further complicated by Klopp tweaking tactics and formations over the past two months, looking to get not just Firmino back on track but also Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and the midfield. At times, it’s meant Firmino in a deeper role.
And that in turn has meant fewer chances to impact the game around the goal for the Brazilian. But Klopp knows that the sort of player Firmino is, he’ll never stop working, and that sooner or later things will click again. The chances will come, and then goals.
“That makes it easier for him, that he will never stop,” Klopp said. “That’s good, and so everything will be fine.”