There are fan favourites; then there’s Roberto Firmino. The deep affection the Brazilian striker is held in amongst Liverpool fans was on clear display Monday at the King Power as the traveling fans chanted his name for over ten minutes despite that he wasn’t playing.
An injury has kept Firmino sidelined in recent weeks, but with the 31-year-old set to depart in the summer after eight seasons in Red, supporters weren’t going to pass on the chance to salute one of the most popular players—probably in the club’s history—one more time before he departs.
“It was so cool,” was manager Jürgen Klopp’s reaction to the outpouring of love for the Brazilian international following Monday evening’s 3-0 victory over Leicester. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Now, attention turns to Saturday and Aston Villa, a side nearly in as good a run of form as Klopp’s Reds. It’s a game Liverpool know they must win to keep their top four hopes alive. It’s also the final home game of the season—and will be a final home day in Red for some players.
Firmino, too, has a chance of being fit for it, with Klopp explaining that he will be training today while most of the team gets a day off in the hopes of being able to play—one last time at Anfield in front of the home crowd—on the weekend.
“I think he has a chance of playing,” Klopp noted. “Tuesday is a day off, not for him but for the others, and then on Wednesday he will be in team training. That is my information but now we will have to see.
“Then Saturday is super difficult for a variety of reasons. Probably farewell for a few players, then playing for absolutely everything against the second or third-best team in the Premier League for the second part of the season. Then in the middle of everything we have to win the game, we have to go for it.
“Around that, we want to show the respect, appreciation and the love we feel for not only Bobby but for all the boys who will be leaving in the summer. It will be a special day and a difficult game. We have to make sure that we can take care of both.”