Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained the reason behind Roberto Firmino’s disappointing performance against Fulham in their Premier League opener last weekend.
New signing Darwin Nunez was expected to lead the forward line alongside Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz. But the German tactician’s decision to start Firmino raised a few eyebrows.
The Brazilian had a difficult afternoon at Craven Cottage, and was largely ineffective during the first half. He was replaced early in the second half by Nunez.
The Uruguayan striker made an immediate impact as he scored a goal in the 64th minute and assisted Mohamed Salah for Liverpool’s second in the 80th minute.
Klopp defended Firmino and explained why the Brazilian struggled against Marco Silva’s side. The former Borussia Dortmund boss also showed his support towards the 30-year-old and revealed how important he is to the Reds’ squad.
As per Liverpoolecho, Klopp said:
“Very important. If we take now our last game against Fulham, we didn’t find Bobby probably because the center was often blocked. That’s why it was difficult for him. Apart from that, I don’t judge Bobby after one game.”
Klopp is expected to start Nunez for the game against Crystal Palace at Anfield on August 15. The German will be keen to bounce back from the disappointing draw with Fulham last weekend.
Roberto Firmino could fall further down the pecking order at Liverpool once Diogo Jota returns from injury
Firmino’s poor performance against newly promoted Fulham will not have done him any favors as he is likely to lose his place in the starting line-up to Nunez. The Brazilian could fall even further down the pecking order at Anfield once Diogo Jota returns from injury.
The Portugal international enjoyed an incredible 2021-22 campaign, scoring 21 goals in 55 appearances in all competitions and helping the Reds win the FA Cup and EFL Cup.
The 25-year-old suffered a recurrence of an injury that he picked up while on international duty with Portugal in June.
He is expected to return to full fitness in the near future and will once again become a prominent member of the club’s squad.