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‘Wasteful Firmino sounding alarm bells for Liverpool’ – Crouch concerned by lack of firepower

10:37 GMT 18/01/2021
Roberto Firmino Liverpool
The former Reds striker saw Jurgen Klopp’s side draw another blank in a 0-0 stalemate with Manchester United, with goals drying up of late

Liverpool should be “alarmed” at how “wasteful” Roberto Firmino has become in front of goal, says Peter Crouch, with the Reds’ once fearsome attacking unit considered to be lacking balance.

Jurgen Klopp has seen the goals dry up for his reigning Premier League champions.

Three top-flight fixtures have come and gone without troubling the scorers, with a Merseyside heavyweight enduring its worst run in the final third since 2005.

Few could have predicted that such struggles would hinder Liverpool’s cause, with recent success at Anfield enjoyed while blowing opponents away.

Strength in depth within Klopp’s squad meant that individuals could suffer the odd dip as there was enough quality around them to maintain collective standards.

Too many key men are wobbling at present, though, with uncharacteristic issues in the final third holding an ambitious outfit back.

Mohamed Salah remains a contender for the 2020-21 Golden Boot, but has seen questions asked of his form on the back of an admission that he could head to Real Madrid or Barcelona at some stage.

Sadio Mane has found the target just five times in his last 20 appearances, while Firmino has been far from prolific for some time now.

Crouch believes the Brazil international, who faced losing his spot to Diogo Jota before a Portuguese forward suffered an untimely knock, is the biggest issue for Klopp to address.

The former Reds striker told the Daily Mail on the lack of firepower after witnessing a drab 0-0 draw with Manchester United: “The balance of the team is wrong at the moment.

“They have lost the energy of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in midfield and that has stopped Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson attacking as freely as they did in the last two seasons.

“It was a hard watch on Sunday but what alarmed me was how wasteful Roberto Firmino was in front of goal.

“I thought he was back in the groove when he sparkled at Crystal Palace last month, but it is just not happening for him — or his team.”

Firmino has just five goals to his name this season, with the 29-year-old South American failing to build on productive pre-Christmas outings that saw him hit the net in back-to-back fixtures against Tottenham and Crystal Palace.