Liverpool has a problem with Roberto Firmino. This is not the first time.
The Reds continued to rise under the leadership of Jurgen KloppWith his victory in the English Premier League and the Champions League in the past two seasons, opinion is increasingly divided.
For some, he’s a neglected genius. The glue that holds Liverpool Together, they attack and ultimately make the Reds mark crucial to the standards that Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane continue to set on a weekly basis.
For others, any vocal minority on social media and opposing fans, he is simply an overrated number nine and not scoring enough goals with such a shout that the nearly season-long drought at Anfield last year wasn’t helped.
And the 29 years old The unknown performance before being substituted in the 68th minute in Liverpool’s poor showing in their 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa, after a slow start to the season, has brought further scrutiny.
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Goals’ return has dwindled since he launched 27 goals as the Reds reached the Champions League final in 2017/18 did not help things improve, with Firmino scoring only 12 goals last season including a low tally of nine from the Premier League.
His goalless return so far this five-game campaign has bolstered that belief, a simple one, but the Brazilian is no stranger to a slow start to a season at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers of Hoffenheim signed him in a £ 29m deal in the summer of 2016, which took his time to settle in Merseyside and adapt to English football.
He suffered a back injury against Carlisle United in September 2015, which resulted in him being disqualified for a month, only from his lead as the then Reds coach tried to find a position for him on the side.
Inside and outside the starting line-up, and using him in a number of different positions, Firmino’s career with Liverpool to Anfield only kicked off in October.
The striker took 11 matches to score the Reds’ first assist, as he scored a 3–1 victory over Chelsea, and his first goal was in his 14th appearance in the 4–1 victory over Manchester City the following month.
He was finishing his first season in England with 11 goals and 11 assists, as Liverpool reached the European League Cup and Europa League finals, with Klopp using him centrally only at the expense of Christian Benteke, often injured Daniel Sturridge. Divock Origi, 20, is slowly being introduced as Firmino’s “9 wrong” position.
However, this season the Brazilian had no excuse to play outside the center or adapt to a new environment. It is simply out of shape.
Heading to the Merseyside derby with Everton at Goodison Park after the international break in October, his five-game 0-0 run since the start of the season will be the longest since his debut at Liverpool.
So how can Klopp replicate his influence on Firmino from 2015/2016 and start the Brazilian season?
Play in shape
The most likely option is to keep playing it up front in the hope that he gets back in shape quickly. After all, he is a crowned striker in the English Premier League and Champions League.
Still the early days in the campaign after all, and it seems too early to write off Firmino’s days as a foolproof start.
Although he was not at his best, the striker has still scored two decisive passes so far this season, while Salah and Mane followed from where they left off at his side at the start of the new season.
The three forward for Liverpool are one of the most feared players in Europe for a reason and there is no such thing as the Trio quite like when they are at their best.
With the Reds’ strikers continuing to perform at home, there is no reason to believe they cannot help make Firmino purr again.
Seat for him
As Liverpool continued to rise under Klopp’s leadership, the German has moved towards making the starting line-up less confident.
Mostly happening in midfield, the summer arrival of Thiago Alcantara makes it difficult to anticipate the Reds’ drive room on a weekly basis.
But two more signatures could see Klopp opting to take Firmino out of the spotlight if his lust continues.
Diogo Jota joined the Reds for £ 41m from Wolverhampton this summer while Takumi Minamino was slowly relieved after signing Red Bull Salzburg in a £ 7.25m deal in January.
The latter is the more natural alternative, as it has often been used as a substitute for the Brazilian in this Liverpool central position since joining the club, while he has been in great shape since pre-season.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese international is also able to play centrally even if he seems more suited to a place on the left.
Elsewhere, Salah and Mane have both succeeded in playing centrally with the Reds in the past, with Gota, Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri all being able to fill their natural roles around the world if needed, while Divock Origi is also an option though. From his assignment of the selection arrangement. in the last year.
While Firmino’s shoes are big shoes to fill in if he loses his turn, he has fallen into Gota and Minamino in particular, so Klopp will not have to rely on three players in the traditional front to start each match.
Maybe now is the time to take advantage of it?
In the past, Klopp has also tried formations and switched to the 4-2-3-1 system when all is not well with his team.
A tactical change may be another way to re-ignite Firmino after his wrong start, with the Brazilian either dropping to 10th place or being sent along with an extra man in attack.
In the past, it tended to fall deeper when such a formation was used with Salah or Mane leading the streak.
However, in his pre-season against Blackpool, he played ahead of Minamino on the set in what was an uplifting duo show.
With options for Gota and Shakeri once again, Klopp can keep everyone in the dark, including Firmino himself, in the direction he will take when the Premier League matches resume.
But while Liverpool’s options in attack have never been greater, the Reds coach will be desperate for the Brazilian to start shooting again ASAP.
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Although fans may not be in stadiums across Europe telling them, as his famous mantra dictates, “There is something a mug wants you to know!
“The best in the world, his name is Bobby Firmino!”
“Our number is nine. Give him the ball and he’ll score every time.
“Si Senor, pass the ball to Bobby and he’ll score.”
With the group stages in the Champions League close to launch, and the race for the Premier League title looks tighter than it did last year, now is the time to make it happen.
With an upcoming trip to Goodison Park, and with Liverpool knowing that victory will see them move to the top of the Premier League table, there has never been a better time for Firmino to show off fans and critics alike. .