Roberto Firmino has decided to leave Liverpool as he still believes he has enough in the tank to be a regular starter.
That’s according to journalist Ben Jacobs, who provides detail of Firmino’s impending exit in his column for CaughtOffside. Explaining the reasoning behind Bobby’s decision not to extend his contract at Liverpool, Jacobs says that it’s all quite simple.
“Liverpool wanted Firmino to extend, but he was intent on taking his time and highly appreciative of the fact Liverpool didn’t put pressure on him for an answer. It wasn’t an easy decision,” the journalist explains.
“My understanding is Firmino now sees the array of the forwards at the club and decided a new challenge is best because he has a strong appetite to be starting the majority of games. Liverpool have brought in Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez, and Salah – contrary to reports linking him with PSG – isn’t going anywhere this summer. And there’s Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota.
“Firmino doesn’t have another club lined up yet. I understand suitors who made enquiries were all told he wouldn’t engage whilst contemplating Liverpool’s offer, and out of respect for the club.”
Bobby makes the right call
You have to hand it to Bobby. The easy decision here would have been to accept Liverpool’s terms and carry on in a place he’s been happy for almost a decade.
In that scenario, it’s likely that his game-time would have plummeted during the 2023/24 season. As a result, his legacy at Anfield would have been – not tarnished – but somehow lessened. Perhaps realising that, Firmino has made the difficult call of moving on. It will hurt for now, and probably for a little while beyond his exit. But it’s surely the right call to make.
From a Liverpool point of view, why would you not want to keep Firmino amongst the raft of attacking options? As Virgil van Dijk recently pointed out, the Brazil international is the perfect man for the likes of Cody Gakpo to learn from. Even if he’s only there to play 15-20 games a season, it’s well worth it for his input on and off the pitch.
Having been around the squad for so long, he knows exactly what Jurgen Klopp is asking for. According to Fabinho, the ‘excellent’ Firmino has built up an almost telepathic relationship with many of teammates.
That’s all well and good. But at the same time, Liverpool have shown this season the pitfalls of keeping hold of players for slightly too long. When the time is right for a parting of ways you know it. As much as it leaves a knot in your stomach, you can’t escape it. Thankfully, Bobby appears to have recognised that.
By bringing in Gakpo, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and even Diogo Jota before them, Liverpool have prepared for this moment. As the mauling of Manchester United perfectly proved, the Reds have more than enough to bring their attack into its next phase. A tough call for our No.9, but no doubt the right one. The farewell tour starts now.
Keep up to date with all the latest Liverpool news and opinion by following Rousing The Kop’s official Facebook page