Liverpool set to offer Roberto Firmino new contract - Has he earned it?
After a brilliant start to the season, The Times say that Liverpool could be preparing to offer Roberto Firmino a new contract at Anfield this season. That would extend his current deal which is set to run until 2020.
Firmino is one of few Liverpool players whose form over the past two seasons could justify such a reward. With two goals and two assists in four games this season, and 12 goals and 11 assists in 41 games last season, he is crucial to the Reds’ attacking play.
This season alone, Firmino has stepped up in the absence of Philippe Coutinho. Against Hoffenheim, his ex-club, he was instrumental in putting Liverpool into the group stage of the Champions League with an incredible display.
Firmino is also one of the players best suited to Jurgen Klopp’s system. The Brazilian looks to press high and is more of a false nine than an out and out centre forward. Happy to drift deep and wide, swapping roles with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the Liverpool front three, he is crucial.
The ex-Hoffenheim striker is also one of the fittest members of the Liverpool squad, missing only three league games last season. As such, a long contract is unlikely to represent a gamble on this occasion.
There could also be an element of protecting their own interest for Liverpool. Firmino is known to be close friends with the South American contingent in the squad, which has already seen Lucas Leiva leave this summer with Philippe Coutinho hoping to follow suit.
Firmino’s fine form could soon start attracting interest from European giants as Coutinho’s has this summer. In that case, Liverpool will require the kind of security offered to them by the fact that Coutinho is tied down into a five year deal he signed only earlier this year.
Firmino is rapidly becoming a fans’ favourite at Anfield, and based on current form it is clear to see why. Unlike Arsenal and Chelsea, who have lost Nemanja Matic and could lose the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil as they go into the final year of their contracts, Liverpool have often been good in their planning ahead. Emre Can is now in a position to negotiate with only 12 months left on his deal, and Liverpool will be reluctant to find themselves in that situation again.
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