Liverpool’s summer business has not really produced a great amount of quality this season but one player who is growing under Jurgen Klopp has been Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian has created and scored more than any other player in the Premier League this year and has been in good form for the last two months.
However, former Red, Michael Owen said in an interview that Firmino needs to get angry on the pitch if he wants to stay in the team in the long run.
Firmino, since his move from Hoffenheim in the summer, found it hard to adjust to the life in England but 6 months into his term at Anfield, he has shown glimpses of what he can do in recent games.
But Michael Owen, speaking ahead of the Europa League clash on Thursday said that he 24-year old needs to maintain that form until the end of the season to maintain a streak of appearances in the first team.
“I’m split on him,” he said. “I thought he did great against Manchester City and Chelsea away earlier in the season, but for a player with that much quality I just want to see that kind of performance on a more regular basis.”
Firmino was not able to get onto the scoresheet in the 6-0 thrashing at Villa and Owen felt that the 24-year old needs to be more consistent in his performances.
“At the moment it’s maybe one good performance in five or six. He gives the ball away too much, and I don’t see that real angry streak in his game.”
The Liverpool legend also explained that the Brazilian is not too good at retaining and fighting for the ball and explained that it was a basic thing that has to be done.
“Listen, if I gave the ball away in a game then for 10 minutes it would be frying my brain. The ball is precious, and I don’t see that in Firmino’s game at the moment. He gives the ball away and it’s almost like ‘oh well, that’s the norm’.
“He’s got a lot of quality, but we need to see it more regularly.”
Firmino was part of a major summer transfer splurge under Brendan Rodgers in which more than £80m was spent on new players.
In stark contrast, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has decided not to splash too much of cash in the only window he was a part of and has spent just over 5 million to acquire two summer signings that will significantly impact the squad.
Owen also spoke about how this summer is going to be important for Klopp and the club who are now looking at an overhaul in the summer.
“Not many of the big boys spent money in January, did they?” he said.
“But I’d say the summer will be the main time for Liverpool in terms of signings. It’s a big one.
“Look, Liverpool aren’t going to win the league this season, so in that sense, there was no need to make signings in January so we could have a big push.
The ex-Liverpool striker also gave a window into how Klopp should approach the rest of the season. He felt that Liverpool’s league campaign is all but over and explained why cup competitions mean everything to the club in the rest of the season.
Whether we finish 10th or eighth, seventh, whatever, it doesn’t really matter. It’s about the cup competitions and building for the future. It’s about Klopp understanding the club totally, what he’s got at his disposal and where he needs to strengthen.
“I’m pleased that he didn’t rush into the market right away. I think he needed the time between his appointment and the end of the season to truly assess what he’s got, and then make the required changes.”