‘Firmino’s place is under threat from Jota’ – Liverpool facing ‘big, big shout’, says Crouch

Roberto Firmino Diogo Jota
A Brazilian frontman at Anfield is struggling for form, with a Portuguese summer signing showing that he is ready to step in if required

Diogo Jota has become a serious threat to Roberto Firmino’s place in Liverpool’s starting XI, says Peter Crouch.

A Brazil international forward has been virtually untouchable throughout Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Anfield.

Firmino embodies what his manager is all about, with tireless running and a willingness to sacrifice his own end product for the good of a collective cause marking him out as a key man.

Few have been able to emulate the South American when it comes to leading the line on Merseyside.

Summer signing Jota has, however, offered enough through the early weeks of his spell at Liverpool to suggest that he could do a similar job.

The Portuguese is also outperforming Firmino at present when it comes to making a telling contribution.

Jota has registered four goals through nine appearances, including a run of three in as many outings of late, with match-winning efforts recorded in meetings with Sheffield United and West Ham.

As a new arrival flourishes, an established part of the fold is floundering.

Firmino has just one goal to his name this season, and only two in his last 19 games across all competitions, with his position as Liverpool’s go-to No.9 no longer as secure as it was once.

Former Reds striker Crouch admits as much, telling the Daily Mail of a selection poser that Jota is now posing: “I was of the opinion Firmino was one player who would never be dropped by Jurgen Klopp but, given their respective form, there is now a big decision for Liverpool's manager.

“I have been so impressed by Jota. He took his goal brilliantly against West Ham and looks like he will make a difference every time he is on the pitch.

“He has given them an element of unpredictability and has made his transfer fee look very shrewd business.

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“He warrants a start in a game of that magnitude against City but I wouldn't forget about all Firmino has done. It would be a big, big shout if he didn't start next Sunday.”

Liverpool have a Champions League meeting with Atalanta to take in on Tuesday before returning to domestic action.

Attention will, however, be starting to drift towards a crucial clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and the big decisions that may need to be made in that contest.