Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge believes Roberto Firmino should be dropped by manager Jurgen Klopp, with the Brazilian’s goal returns diminishing this season. Aldridge believes Firmino looks “blunt” and there have been suggestions that new signing Diogo Jota should be picked ahead of him.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Aldridge said: “I am still a big Bobby Firmino fan, I love him as a player and what he brings to the side, but things are not good with him and haven’t been for some time now.
“He’s dipped well below his best for the last year or so and maybe he does need a rest.
“He certainly needs something because at the moment we’re not seeing the player who has played such a key role in the rise under Jurgen Klopp.
“He’s blunt, he’s lost that sharpness and he’s not getting in the box enough.
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“He will know and the manager will know – I do myself as a centre forward – that it’s just not happening for him at the moment.
“He seems to be doing all his work in areas where it’s not hurting defenders and needs to be causing them problems in and around the box.
“I do still think we need him because he’s a fantastic player but the manager has got to find a way to get him ticking again in the way he was a couple of years ago.”
Jota came off the bench against West Ham on Saturday and scored the winning goal, his third in five Premier League appearances since joining from Wolves.
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As a result of the pair’s differing form in front of goal, fellow ex-Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has suggested that Jota should replace Firmino in the starting line-up.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Crouch said: “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.
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“He has given them an element of unpredictability and has made his transfer fee look very shrewd business.
“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.”
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