By Coral Barry
Roberto Firmino will start to win over the doubters if he can reproduce the form he showed in Liverpool’s League Cup win over Bournemouth, according to Jamie Carragher.
A Nathaniel Clyne goal helped the home side defeat their Premier League rivals 1-0 to take the home side into the quarter-finals of the competition.
But the star of the show was the summer signing from Hoffenheim, who had his best display in a Liverpool shirt as Jurgen Klopp secured his first victory as manager.
Carragher was encouraged by what he saw.
“He has cost £29million so we’re not going to judge him at home in a Capital One Cup tie against Bournemouth, who have got players out,” the former Liverpool defender told Sky Sports. “The problem for the new signings last season who came in is that they gave you nothing to hang on to.
“You’re not expecting new signings to absolute superstars. It would be fantastic if they were.
“But for him (Firmino), that was a sign tonight there is a player there. We hadn’t seen much evidence of it this season. It gives you something over the next weeks. You think there is a player there. You want him to improve and do it against better opposition.
“But tonight was a start for him. He showed glimpses of what he is about – some class touches. Everything came through him.”
But Carragher is not convinced that Firmino will start Saturday’s clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as Klopp prepares to recall the first-team regulars.
“I don’t think he will be involved, he will be on the bench,” said Carragher. “The fact he played virtually a full game tonight, and Lallana and Coutinho will be fresh for the weekend.
“He’s been here a couple of months and I don’t expect him to be at his best. But that was good from him tonight and around Christmas time, busy fixtures, he can get a run of fixtures in the team and show what he is about.”