Roberto Firmino’s reaction to his shot striking the post painted one of the most telling images of the season during Liverpool’s 1-1 stalemate with Burnley on Saturday.
The Brazilian is still yet to break his Anfield duck in the Premier League this season and hasn’t scored a home goal domestically for the Reds since March 2019.
At full-time, Firmino was one of the most talked-about events of the game despite producing a performance that exuberated class and quality.
The 28-year-old managed six key passes against Burnley, more than any Liverpool player and more than all of the Burnley team combined.
His link-up play with the front-three was exceptional and once again Firmino was unselfish in his approach despite the player craving currently craving a home goal more than any player in the team.
In response to Firmino’s critics, Klopp was quick to defend his player.
He said: “It cannot become a psychological problem because Bobby played today an outstanding game and we don’t judge him.
“So I hope he will not read your newspaper if you make a story of it because we just don’t think about it. It’s not important who scores.
“We need Bobby for other things, we need Bobby in exactly the spaces where he was today, we need him as a link-up for all the other things.
“We only have chances in other positions because Bobby plays the way he plays. And he will score, there is absolutely no doubt about it.
“We are not worried at all about that because he played an outstanding game today and was involved in so many decisive situations. It will not become a problem.”
No reason to be concerned
Klopp has the inside track of what goes on in the dressing room and if he feels there is no cause for concern then that should be enough to convince supporters that there is nothing to worry about regarding Firmino.
The former Hoffenheim striker has been one of Liverpool’s most durable members this season having featured in all 35 league matches this season – only Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold have managed to do the same.
Although there will be evident frustration at his lack of goals in recent months – he is still yet to score since the restart, it is bizarre to think that Firmino’s quality can even come into question following such outstanding consistency since his £29 million [BBC] transfer in 2015.
No Liverpool player has featured more than Firmino since Klopp took on the Liverpool job in October 2015.
While he may not boast the same ridiculous goal outputs as Mane and Salah, Firmino consistently sacrifices his own game for the betterment of the team. Even during his everpresent examples of unselfishness, he has still managed an impressive 77 goals and 59 assists during his time at Anfield.
As Klopp has said time-and-time-again, Liverpool ‘need Bobby for other things’ not just goals. While it is tempting to judge a player on their numbers in front of goal, it is worth remembering in the case of Firmino, that a player of such rarity has much more to his game to rejoice to.
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