Roberto Firmino looks “blunt” in a No.9 role at Liverpool and may benefit from having a rest after losing his “sharpness”, says John Aldridge.
The Brazil international has led the line for the Reds throughout Jurgen Klopp’s reign.
Firmino’s end product has diminished, though, through recent months, with just one goal recorded in the 2020-21 campaign.
His position is coming under threat from the in-form Diogo Jota, with Aldridge among those who feel that the South American should be taken out of the firing line until he rediscovers his spark.
The former Reds striker told the Liverpool Echo: “I am still a big Bobby Firmino fan, I love him as a player and what he brings to the side, but things are not good with him and haven’t been for some time now.
“He’s dipped well below his best for the last year or so and maybe he does need a rest. He certainly needs something because at the moment we’re not seeing the player who has played such a key role in the rise under Jurgen Klopp.
“He’s blunt, he’s lost that sharpness and he’s not getting in the box enough.
“He will know and the manager will know - I do myself as a centre forward - that it’s just not happening for him at the moment.
“He seems to be doing all his work in areas where it’s not hurting defenders and needs to be causing them problems in and around the box.
“I do still think we need him because he’s a fantastic player but the manager has got to find a way to get him ticking again in the way he was a couple of years ago.”
Firmino has rarely been prolific across his career to date, but can usually be relied upon to chip in with a healthy haul of goals.
That has not been the case of late, with the target found on just two occasions in his last 18 appearances across all competitions and three times through 28 outings.