By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Roberto Firmino has only one good performance in five or six, according to Michael Owen.
The former Liverpool striker was scathing in his criticism of the Brazilian playmaker, who has arguably been the team’s standout player of the last two months.
Firmino took some time to adapt on Merseyside following his £29million move from Hoffenheim but has scored five goals and supplied three assists in the Premier League in 2016.
He has also kept Christian Benteke out of the team after making a good job of an unfamiliar spearhead role in the absence of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi up until last week.
But Owen, who was speaking ahead of the return of the UEFA Europa League on BT Sport, is not convinced by Firmino.
“I’m split on him,” said the former England international. “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.
“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.
“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 done well lately. But to be a Liverpool player you have to do it every week. You can have one bad game in five, but at the moment he’s more one good game in five.
“He’s got a lot of quality, but we need to see it more regularly.”
In other Liverpool news, the Merseysiders are assessing another Bundesliga star after completing the signing of Joel Matip from Schalke.