Jurgen Klopp insists Roberto Firmino remains very firmly in Liverpool’s plans for next season after denying suggestions the Brazilian has “lost everything” as the Reds No 9.
The Brazilian striker has endured a hugely indifferent season at Anfield. Firmino failed to score for a 14th consecutive game in the Reds’ recent 1-1 draw with Newcastle, his worst return for Jurgen Klopp‘s side to date. As a result, Firmino has an overall xG of just 0.37 so far, in what has been a turbulent campaign for the defending Premier League champions.
Rumours have started to swirl that Firmino could be sold this summer. Indeed, one goal-hungry youngster has been tipped as a potential replacement in the Reds attack.
Firmino’s return of six goals and seven assists in 43 games so far is comfortably his lowest since arriving from Hoffenheim in 2015.
But despite the lack of output, coupled with his noticeable loss of form, Klopp is adamant he will stand by his man.
Furthermore, the Reds boss has roasted claims that Firmino has “lost everything” this season.
Indeed, Klopp insists his form drop off is the result of external factors, such as problems in defence and the structure of their side, that have forced the changes.
“To me it’s for sure a result of the season, 100 per cent,” Klopp said.
“But as well, when the boys up front don’t score as often as we are used to, then that doesn’t help in these moments.
“It’s not dreamland, you have to go through these periods, but it’s temporary and not forever. No doubt about that.
“Bobby is not old or tired or something like that – or lost everything. Not at all.
“We see everything in training, we have to make sure we bring that more often on the pitch. That’s not for Bobby, that’s a general thing for us. That’s it.
“The season was not a season so far where we got a proper flow and things were clicking game after game.
“We had to work incredibly hard. And when you have to work incredibly hard you have to think about different things.
“When we lost our defensive stability a little bit, because of the injuries, everybody had to do differently in protection, in defending. All these kinds of things.
“That keeps you a yard further back, or two or three or five or 10. That keeps your focus away from an offensive situation, because you think already ‘if we lose the ball, we have to make sure that we get it back’.
“It’s really a complex thing, a lot of complex things happened this year. There’s absolutely no excuse, but it’s a description of the situation.
“Bobby is one example for it, but Bobby is in a good moment actually, he plays really well. That’s good.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain gets Klopp assurances
Firmino isn’t the only player handed words of comfort from the manager. Indeed, Klopp has a similar message to another strugglers in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
According to Fichajes, Oxlade-Chamberlain has grown “tired” of his situation and has decided to quit Anfield.
One suitor has already emerged, with Borussia Dortmund reportedly trying to “seduce” him to the Bundesliga.
Klopp though was having none of it on Friday.
“The summer is important for all of us,” said Klopp. “When you don’t start games and you have to use every training session and every minute on the pitch to convince. I don’t have to be convinced, actually, but it’s about showing up in these kinds of moments.
“Ox had some good moments; he has shown up really well and that is good. This situation is not always easy for all the boys not only Ox, but for Naby, not easy for Shaq – I know that. During this season, a lot of things have happened. One thing we try to do is get balance, rhythm and stability.
“Am I counting on him for next season? Yes.”
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