Date published: Tuesday 3rd November 2020 4:52
Liverpool legend John Aldridge says Jurgen Klop must “find a way” to restore Roberto Firmino to the form he showed earlier in his Anfield career.
Firmino is one of a few Reds stars Klopp has kept on after taking the manager’s job in 2015. Indeed, unlike several of his previous teammates, he remains a mainstay in the team.
His partnership up front with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah has proved invaluable, leading the Anfield club to Premier League and Champions League glory.
However, Diogo Jota‘s arrival in the recent transfer window has put Firmino’s position under threat. The Portuguese has scored four goals in nine games this season, his Brazilian teammate netting only twice since June.
As such, Aldridge believes that while Firmino still has a lot to offer his team, he needs to show it more regularly.
“I am still a big Bobby Firmino fan, I love him as a player and what he brings to the side,” the former striker told the Liverpool Echo. “But things are not good with him and haven’t been for some time now.
“He’s dipped well below his best for the last year or so and maybe he does need a rest. He certainly needs something because at the moment we’re not seeing the player who has played such a key role in the rise under Jurgen Klopp.
“He’s blunt, he’s lost that sharpness and he’s not getting in the box enough. He will know and the manager will know – I do myself as a centre forward – that it’s just not happening for him at the moment.”
Firmino needs a change of approach
Aldridge added that Firmino could benefit by getting back to basics; the 29-year-old‘s best form came when he netted 27 goals and assisted 17 others in the 2017/18 campaign.
“He seems to be doing all his work in areas where it’s not hurting defenders and needs to be causing them problems in and around the box,” the pundit added.
“I do still think we need him because he’s a fantastic player but the manager has got to find a way to get him ticking again in the way he was a couple of years ago.”
Fellow former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has shared similar concerns to Aldridge and believes Firmino will be looking over his shoulder.