Journalist Emmet Gates believes the fact that Roberto Firmino didn’t start against Manchester City suggests that his days at Liverpool are numbered.
How has Firmino performed this season?
Despite that treble, it’s still been a tricky start to the campaign for the striker, whose average WhoScored rating is 7.0, which is 12th in the Reds squad, epitomising exactly how hard things have been for him.
For the best part of four seasons, Liverpool’s front-three has consisted of Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. However, following Diogo Jota’s brilliant form since arriving at Anfield, Firmino is now no longer a regular part of what was formerly one of the most feared front-threes in European football.
In fact, during the early parts of this campaign, the 30-year-old was used as nothing more than a bit-part player. Muscle injuries have hampered his campaign, forcing him to miss four matches, but even when Firmino has been fit, he’s only been used off the bench.
Firmino did give Klopp a timely reminder of his goalscoring prowess by notching twice off the bench against Porto in the Champions League, but that wasn’t enough to earn himself a starting place in the draw with City five days later.
He has an impressive record against Pep Guardiola’s men, scoring five and assisting five in 17 appearances. But Firmino was still overlooked by Klopp, much to the surprise of Gates.
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What did Gates say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “Diogo Jota has seemingly dislodged him from the starting XI and you think it’s now Salah-Jota-Mane.
“It surprised me that Klopp didn’t start Firmino against Manchester City because usually he relies on Firmino for the big game, but maybe that’s an indication that his future at Liverpool is coming to an end.”
Can Firmino win his place back?
Despite his goals drying up in recent seasons, Firmino, who earns £180,000-per-week, remains Liverpool’s only recognised striker besides Divock Origi.
With that in mind and the fact the Reds are fighting on four fronts this season, Firmino should get his fare share of chances. Although with Jota’s goal record in Liverpool colours outstanding, and Salah and Mane almost undroppable, he needs to take those rare opportunities when they do come his way.
Liverpool are still unbeaten this season, though, which means Klopp will be reluctant to make too many changes any time soon in the Premier League. But Firmino has never let the German down previously and is unlikely to start now.