Jamie Carragher has admitted to Sky Sports (broadcast on 18/1; 22:43) that Roberto Firmino is the member of Liverpool’s forward line that he is worried about right now with the Reds’ form dipping in recent times.
It has been a month since Jurgen Klopp’s men won in the Premier League. Meanwhile, they have one victory in their last five in all competitions.
And they have scored once in their last four in the league. It is a remarkable spell given that they put seven past Crystal Palace in December.
Understandably, there are concerns about the form of both Sadio Mane and Mo Salah. But when Carragher was discussing Liverpool’s fortunes, he suggested that it was not those two that he was fearful for.
“I must say I am worried for Firmino,” he told Sky Sports. “He’s never been seen as the goalscorer. That’s the responsibility of the other two. But he’s there to chip in. And when they’re not scoring, I just feel he needs to be a bigger goal threat.
“Even yesterday, he had a couple of chances, not quite striking the ball right. I also think bringing players into the game has dropped off. And also, the counter pressing and winning the ball back has dropped off with Firmino, and not just this season.”
Firmino’s tally of five goals in 18 games is certainly underwhelming. Meanwhile, he has only contributed three assists for the Reds in the top flight.
Admittedly, that means that he has had the same number of goal involvements as Mane this season. But Carragher is right to point out that Firmino – who earns £180,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – spurned a couple of fantastic chances in their weekend stalemate.
And with Mane scoring 40 across the last two Premier League campaigns, the 28-year-old is surely entitled to go off the boil at some stage.
Of course, Firmino’s game is about a lot more than goals. But Carragher seemingly believes that finding the back of the net is not the only thing that the Brazilian has failed to do as impressively in recent times.