By Noel Whelan

13th Aug, 2022 | 11:01am

Expert shares verdict on Liverpool axing Roberto Firmino after clear hint

Noel Whelan has insisted Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is right to stand by Roberto Firmino ahead of Monday’s (15 August) home clash against Crystal Palace.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed fellow striking option Darwin Nunez is still “adjusting to the pace and intensity” of the Premier League.

Firmino, 30, started the season opener against Fulham last week (6 August) – but was ineffective and eventually replaced by Nunez, 22.

The mega-money acquisition was instrumental as Liverpool twice equalised after going a goal down – with his goal and assist securing a 2-2 draw.

Speaking to club media (12 August), Klopp acknowledged Firmino’s struggles against Fulham but insisted he will not “judge because of one or two games”.

Whelan backed the Brazillian to lead the line against Palace – insisting Nunez can be “effective” from the bench.

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He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “You can’t write anyone off after one game.

“No one is really in their stride yet, and I think it takes four or five games to get there.

“No team has hit the ground running yet.

“I’d stick with Firmino. I’m sure Nunez is still learning a lot about the Premier League, and right now he’s effective when he’s coming off the bench.

“That could be a great weapon against Palace. Jurgen Klopp knows what he’s doing, and he’s sticking with what he knows.

“Nunez is still adjusting to the pace and the intensity of the Premier League – but he’ll be ready for his Anfield debut from the bench.”

Firmino has less than 12 months remaining on his Liverpool contract.

The former Hoffenheim star scored 11 goals in 35 outings for Klopp’s side last term.

In other news, pundit lambasts Klopp as new Liverpool claim issued.