Klopp unconcerned by Firmino's lack of goals for Liverpool

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Roberto Firmino Liverpool 2020-21Getty

Jurgen Klopp insists he has no concerns over Roberto Firmino’s lack of goals at Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s derby clash with Everton.

The Brazilian is yet to find the net in five appearances so far this season and has scored just twice in his last 24 appearances for the club in all competitions.

He did, however, score twice for Brazil in their World Cup qualifying win over Peru on Wednesday, and when asked about Firmino’s form ahead of the trip to Goodison Park, Klopp said he had no complaints regarding the 29-year-old.

“I don’t know when it becomes a problem for me,” he told reporters. “It’s not even close to becoming a problem.

“These are the times when I have to be different to the outside world. If I would judge moments as much as you have to, a second or a game or two games or a period, then what would happen?

“For me, it’s about how important he is, how influential he is for the team. We lost the last Premier League game, but before that we won the rest of the Premier League games. Bobby didn’t score, but he was incredibly influential.”

Firmino did set up a goal, albeit a late consolation, for Mo Salah in Liverpool’s last game, the 7-2 thrashing at Aston Villa, and assisted Sadio Mane’s opener at Chelsea.

And Klopp says the No.9’s contribution cannot simply be measured by raw numbers.

He said: “It was always clear that with a player like Bobby, if he’s not scoring then you start focusing on that. And then you realise that even he gives the ball away from time to time, so you add it on: ‘He doesn’t score and he loses balls'.

“Then all of a sudden you speak about ‘is this really Bobby Firmino?’ Yes it is! I was in training, he scored twice for Brazil, he is in top shape and he will play as long as he can.

“We discuss performances, individual and team, but not in the same way as you do obviously. We want him to score, to come into positions where he can score. 

“He could have scored for example at Villa, early, twice for sure. I know that. He doesn’t like that he didn’t, and I don’t, but it isn’t the only thing I think about when I think about Bobby.”

Klopp will make a late decision on whether to start Firmino, as well as fellow Brazilian Fabinho, against Everton. The pair returned to Merseyside late on Thursday, with the Reds boss left irked by the scheduling of such a high-profile fixture on the back of a gruelling international break.

There is better news with the return of Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane following their positive COVID tests, while captain Jordan Henderson should also return to the starting XI having picked up match fitness with England during the past fortnight. 

Naby Keita will miss the game, however, Klopp confirmed at his Friday afternoon press conference.