Jordan Henderson has claimed that an injury-free Roberto Firmino will be like having a new player for Liverpool this season.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Henderson said that Firmino’s return from injury will be a ‘massive boost’ for Liverpool.
“We’ve got a lot of good forward players. Bobby [Roberto Firmino] has come back from injury last season, which is a massive boost for us,” said the Liverpool captain. “It’s like a new player coming back as he’s an important player to the way we play.”
Given that he was injured on-and-off for much of last season, a few have forgotten just how important Firmino is to Liverpool. If he can stay off the treatment table, expect Bobby to send a timely reminder of his qualities.
Firmino’s future still in his own hands
From Firmino’s point of view, it’s absolutely crucial that he stays fit throughout the opening months of the season. Despite Darwin Nunez’s electric start, Bobby’s inclusion in the Community Shield starting XI suggests he’ll be used while Nunez settles in.
In light of his contract situation, it’s vital that the Brazilian makes those early months count.
Play well, and Firmino could force Liverpool’s hand in the contract discussions. Fail to make an impact, and it may be difficult for him to make a convincing case before the end of the season.
Although there have been reports of strong interest from Juventus, it sounds as though Firmino is happy at Liverpool.
If he’s able to play his part effectively, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be retained into his ninth year at the club.
As Henderson alludes to, the quality of the man signed for £29m isn’t in doubt amongst the playing staff at Liverpool. Just yesterday, Thiago Alcantara labelled him as ‘the most skilful player at the club.’
Still only thirty, some of Firmino’s best football could still be ahead of him. Injuries and new players have been his downfall over the last 12 to 18 months. But he still remains important to Jurgen Klopp.
No player has played more under the German at Liverpool than Firmino. He may not have added to that tally too much last season, but he’s back and raring to go again.