‘Firmino has nothing to worry about from Jota’ – Barnes backs Liverpool boss Klopp to keep everyone happy

Roberto Firmino Diogo Jota
The Reds legend believes that, with the manager going with a front four against Manchester City, every attacker at Anfield will see regular game time

Roberto Firmino should not be worried about the presence of Diogo Jota at Liverpool, claims John Barnes, who expects Jurgen Klopp to keep all of his attackers happy with regular game time.

The Reds boss found himself facing a big selection call heading into the crunch clash with fellow title hopefuls Manchester City.

With summer signing Jota thriving and established No 9 Firmino faltering, change was expected in the middle of Liverpool’s front three.

Klopp however had a trick up his sleeve and opted to go with a front four at the Etihad Stadium with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah also included from the off.

The defending Premier League champions are not expected to stick with that system, but it is now an option for them.

The Anfield heavyweights also now boast the strength in depth that will allow them to rest and rotate as required, with Barnes seeing no one position falling under threat.

The Liverpool legend told BonusCodeBets: “I must admit, I didn’t think Jota would get this much air time. I knew he was a good player but I don't think anyone could have imagined he’d do this well.

“Normally, it takes a while for players to fit into their new club, their new surrounding, their new system, but not Jota.

“Every time he's come on he's done really well, and it shows from the recruitment point of view that Jurgen Klopp is spot on in terms of looking at players who he knows can fit into what he wants - but I don’t think Firmino has anything to worry about.

“Firmino and Jota are very different players and just because Firmino hasn’t scored a lot of goals lately, it’s important to remember that he plays a different role within the front three.

“Furthermore, Mane and Salah wouldn’t score as many goals if it wasn’t for the way Bobby plays. It all comes down to incredible team work.”

Barnes added, with further tactical tweaks expected in the weeks to come: “Also, Firmino and Jota play very differently which is a really luxury to have as some games will suit one of them better than the other; or other times, like yesterday [against City], they both play.

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“I think Klopp will chop and change this season, and I don’t think it’s a reflection on who he feels is better, it’s more about who they are playing against.

“The good thing about it is Jota and Thiago [Alcantara] can now come into the team and take over from any of the players in midfield or up front and do a great job, and that’s what you want.”

Liverpool will return to action after the international break with a home date against table-topping Leicester on November 21.