Liverpool star Roberto Firmino is attempting to prove a point to Jurgen Klopp now that he is into the final few months of his £180k-per-week contract at Anfield.
What’s the word?
That is according to transfer insider Dean Jones who believes that the Brazilian is demonstrating to his manager how difficult it will be to replace him at Anfield.
Indeed, the journalist feels as though Firmino has benefited from increased competition in the attack, having been spurred on by the arrivals of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez earlier this year.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about the 31-year-old, Jones said: “Maybe there’s something in it that he’s got fresh competition for his shirt, but he probably would have expected that at this stage of his career anyway.
“He’s probably just making a case and saying ‘you can try and replace me, but it’s not going to be as easy as you think it is’.”
Making a case
Firmino has indeed made his case to Klopp so far this season, garnering six goals and three assists in seven Premier League appearances for Liverpool.
He has well and truly been on fire for the Reds and has already exceeded his total of five Premier League goals from last season in what has been a statement start to the current campaign.
Firmino is already an unorthodox centre-forward, occupying a false nine role, so adding goals to his game at this rate could well see the club hand the 31-year-old a new contract, given his unique role within the team and how difficult it would be to replace that once he leaves.
There are not many other centre-forwards in world football who have that ability to integrate themselves as a pivotal figure in build-up play, with Firmino’s average of 37.07 passes completed per 90 an elite total which places him in the 99th percentile among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the past 12 months.
The Brazilian is certainly playing as if he has a point to prove, which can only benefit Klopp and Liverpool in their time of need given their sobering start to the season.