By Matt Farr
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims he had no intention of dropping Roberto Firmino ahead of the Stoke clash – because he was the team’s best player in training.
The Reds ran out comfortable 4-1 winners on Tuesday evening, but Klopp faced calls to omit Firmino after he was arrested and charged with drink driving in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
The Brazilian had also hit a dip in form, where he hadn’t contributed either a goal or an assist since the 6-1 win over Watford on November 6.
However, the 25-year-old repaid the faith shown in him by Klopp, getting himself on the scoresheet in a win that saw Liverpool jump above Manchester City back into second.
Speaking to the Mirror, Klopp insisted that Firmino had been the stand-out performer in training during the week, and could not afford to leave him out the side.
“He was the best man in training so there was no chance I was going to leave him out,” Klopp said. “No chance. He trained outstanding so, no, we didn’t think about it.”
Firmino now has seven goals and six assists from 19 appearances in all competitions, and is part of a potent Liverpool attacking outfit that have scored 45 goals this season – the most in the Premier League.
Liverpool have scored three or more goals in a game on three separate occasions in December alone, and have achieved the feat eight times in total since the start of the campaign.
They currently trail Chelsea by six points, and with just two league defeats all season, continue to reinforce their title challenge.
In other Liverpool news, Ian Wright has made this bold claim about Liverpool’s season.