Liverpool will soon find out just how irreplaceable Roberto Firmino truly is. This comes with news that the Brazilian’s injury will keep him out for some time.
Roberto Firmino picked up an injury before the international break but we hoped he’d return soon after. Instead, it looks like we won’t see Liverpool’s no.9 for a little while.
The Athletic claims that the ‘serious’ hamstring injury will keep Firmino out until mid-December. Essentially, we have another month to wait.
Now, if we take that timespan literally, we should see Firmino back for the game against Newcastle United on December 16th. There’s quite a lot of football between now and then, however.
Liverpool have seven fixtures up until December 16th, some of which are sizeable games. There’s Arsenal this weekend, of course, and the Merseyside derby on December 1st.
Liverpool also host Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa early next month. That promises to be a big occasion.
And so the Reds are about to find out just how important Firmino is to them. He’s not an easy player to replace.
Irreplaceable Roberto Firmino
Firmino is an incredibly unique player. He’s a striker who leads the line but plays as a False 9, linking play with the midfield.
But the Brazilian also moves around and creates space for wingers. On top of all that, Firmino is a magnificent defender who frequently leads the press.
Without him, Liverpool lose quite a lot. Diogo Jota usually steps into the centre-forward role but he’s a very different player – with the ball, at least.
Jota doesn’t link play anywhere near as well, which prevents Liverpool from building through the middle as much. It also means the team must progress the ball forward in a different way as the striker won’t drop deep to collect it.
Jurgen Klopp must try some new ideas, then. Perhaps that’s by using a right-sided trio as we’ve seen in recent weeks. Maybe he uses Sadio Mane as his striker.
Or perhaps we just see a more attacking midfield that looks to bridge the gap to the forwards.
We’ll see just how important Firmino’s work is, then. If Liverpool can’t replace all he does through a tactical shift, they’ll need to find a new kind of player.
That, certainly, will have long-term consequences as Firmino moves into his 30s. The next seven games will highlight just how important a replacement player could be.