Roberto Firmino remains the perfect “modern No.9” for Liverpool despite his “remarkable” record of having failed to score a single goal at Anfield this season, says Jamie Redknapp.
The Brazilian forward drew a blank again in his most recent outing against Bournemouth.
A telling contribution from the South American was not required as fellow forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane found the target in a 2-1 win that has the Reds on the cusp of Premier League title glory.
Firmino continues to offer much more to the cause than mere end product, with the 28-year-old having been hailed for his selfless efforts throughout a productive spell in England.
With that in mind, Redknapp says there are no concerns when it comes to a surprising barren spell on Merseyside.
The former Reds midfielder told the Daily Mail: “Liverpool are cruising to their first championship in 30 years and Saturday's victory over Bournemouth was their 22nd consecutive home win — a new record in the English top flight.
“And yet, amid all this, their No.9, Roberto Firmino, has not scored a single goal at Anfield in 2019-20. How remarkable is that?
“Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have contributed 16 and 10 in all competitions by comparison, and this highlights two things. It shows the way the Premier League champions elect use Firmino as a link-up man and also the importance of the modern-day winger's ability to get goals and assists.
“Firmino comes short for the ball, creates space for others, connects attacks and creates opportunities for his team-mates who love to come inside.
“They don't stay stranded out wide, and we saw that against Bournemouth on Saturday. Mane won possession centrally off Jack Simpson before playing the ball to Salah, who made up for a poor pass by scoring anyway to make it 1-1.
“For the winner, Virgil van Dijk made an interception on the halfway line and played a through-ball into Mane, who was central again. He then beat Aaron Ramsdale from the one on one.
“Jurgen Klopp will recognise the job that Firmino is doing, too, even if he isn't the one banging in the goals at Anfield himself.
“The Brazilian is the modern No.9 — selfless, and not purely relied upon for scoring. He is the focal point of Klopp's 4-3-3 system.”
Firmino will get another opportunity to break his duck on Wednesday in a game where Liverpool need somebody to step up and provide inspiration, with Klopp’s side preparing to play host to Atletico Madrid in a Champions League last-16 encounter that they currently trail 1-0 on aggregate.