Roberto Firmino is the only member of Liverpool’s six senior attacking options yet to score this season, but one club legend isn’t worried about his relative lack of goal threat.
John Barnes says that the Brazilian brings so much to the overall team cohesion and dangerous moments of attacking play that it doesn’t really matter if he eventually puts the ball in the net or not.
Along with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Firmino is part of a much-feared front three, but the No. 9 took until the final home match to score at Anfield in the Premier League last season and some criticised him for not supplying better numbers.
But, like manager Jurgen Klopp, Barnes is unmoved by Firmino’s lower tally and says that supporting the more clinical duo either side of him brings more to Liverpool than if he was more selfish in the final third.
“No [I’m not concerned], is the answer. Firmino’s role is slightly different and it’s not necessarily about netting the ball; in fact, he brings more to the team than just goals,” Barnes told BCB, per Goal.
“By having him supporting Salah and Mane in front of the net, and for those two to lead the goal scoring, has done the team a world of good, which became very clear last season.”
While those three are the clear starters, the Reds have added Takumi Minamino and Diogo Jota in the past two transfer windows, while Divock Origi is another attacking option – and all three have already scored this season.
Barnes says the Portuguese £45m signing in particular will be a big boost to the Reds this season and beyond.
“Jota is a great player who will be able to help strengthen the squad. Will he play in front three? Probably not but he’s given us enough quality that if one of the front three gets injured, he can come in and do a very good job and someone you can count on.
“For someone to say that he’s ready to play in each position that the manager wants him to says a lot about a player and his attitude. It shows a level of maturity, dedication and professionalism. I really think Jota will bring a lot to the team. He’s one to watch.”
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