Many of those who watch Liverpool play on a regular basis can see how important Roberto Firmino is to the side. Even when his name does not pop up on the scoresheet, Firmino has often been vital to Liverpool’s dominant performances over the last 3+ seasons.
However, he is a center forward who has struggled to put the ball in the net for the last year or so. Fair or not, no matter how much he does to create space and scoring opportunities for others, or how much he does to press opposing backlines and win possession, people are going to criticize a forward who is not scoring goals.
With Diogo Jota’s emergence as a player who appears ready to compete for a starting role in Liverpool’s front line, calls for Firmino to be dropped from the first choice starting XI have grown exponentially in recent days.
Though many pundits, fans, and former players are expressing doubt about Firmino, Jürgen Klopp continues to stress that he and many others know how valuable the Brazilian is to this Liverpool squad.
“Who is with us I don’t have to say one word about Bobby Firmino and how important he was for us, I don’t waste time with that,” Klopp said.
As for the calls to drop Firmino, Klopp seems to think his abilities and importance should be clear enough that he is not going to spend time continuing to spell it out for those who don’t already understand.
“Who is not with us I don’t care if they know about it to be honest,” said Klopp. “He was in so many games the difference-maker without scoring maybe, I’m not sure, but with scoring as well in other games, so I would feel really embarrassed if I had to mention now the qualities of Bobby Firmino.”
Klopp didn’t exactly tiptoe around his frustration that people continue to question Firmino’s abilities and his place in the side, but he is not going to try and convert Bobby doubters.
“I can’t help these people, sorry. If they don’t see it I cannot help them. That’s how it is.”
It remains to be seen how minutes will be split among Liverpool’s attacking options going forward, but Klopp has made it abundantly clear that he still believes in Roberto Firmino’s importance. Jota’s emergence and Firmino’s goalscoring woes may lead to more rotation in Liverpool’s front three, but with their very congested upcoming schedule, there are going to be more than enough minutes to go around for everyone involved.