The debate will roll on over who is the best, most undroppable player in Liverpool’s front three. Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are all exceptionally gifted footballers. But it’s Roberto Firmino who is perhaps the most unsung of the trio.
Firmino is a footballer’s player. He’s reliable and dedicated to the team. He’s a work horse like James Milner but with the agility and cleverness of a striker. Mané and Salah probably sell more shirts due to their speedy exploits but it’s Firmino who is often the one creating moments for the other two or an on-rushing midfielder.
Jürgen Klopp is rarely interested in praising individual players but he regularly steers a post-match comment about Mané or Salah towards Firmino. Recently, while talking about Salah’s recent flare up with Mané, Arsene Wenger couldn’t help but do the same.
“I like him very much, he has huge potential,” said Arsene of Salah. “Mane as well.
“But you forget a little bit the guy who sacrifices himself is Firmino. And like Suarez did for Messi and Neymar, [Firmino] is the guy who works for the team, who works for everybody and gets them to shine.
“This piece of the jigsaw is always difficult to find, a striker who is generous.”
Arsene gets it.
Firmino has scored so many fantastically entertaining goals for Liverpool. But there’s a lot that Bobby does that never gets marked down. You have to observe him in his natural habitat out on the pitch to really understand his impact.
And he was already a Liverpool player when Klopp took the job. What a world.