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Klopp: This Liverpool key man has been playing with a string of injuries for weeks

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By Harry Sykes

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Roberto Firmino has been playing with a string of injuries for Liverpool in recent weeks.

The versatile forward, 25, was absent from the Merseysiders’ 4-0 destruction of West Ham in Sunday’s Premier League clash at London Stadium with a muscle problem but has been playing through the pain barrier for some time.

Fit-again duo Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana were recalled to the Liverpool starting XI in place of Firmino and Lucas Leiva.

The outcome was a masterful display from the visitors, with Sturridge scoring the opener with a brilliant finish, Philippe Coutinho adding the middle two goals and Divock Origi a late fourth.

Speaking afterward to the official Liverpool website, Klopp explained that Firmino was not close to being involved at the London Stadium due to a muscle problem but could be back for the final match of the season at home to Middlesbrough.

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Asked for an update on Firmino’s condition and specifically whether he may play against Boro at Anfield next Sunday, the manager said: “Not a real idea, but it’s a bigger chance than for this game today. We tried a little bit on Friday, only with a little running. [But] he still felt the muscle, so [there was] no chance.

“He struggled a little bit in the last few weeks with different parts of his body. We always had to manage the intensity with him, did it and then in the game he actually didn’t really feel it. Then after the [Southampton] game, he said ‘Yes, now I feel something’ and that was too much for training last week.

“But [he has] another week and being an option would be cool for us.”

Firmino has been a nailed-on starter for Liverpool this season, making the team in 33 of their 37 Premier League appearances.

The Brazilian has responded with 11 league goals that have been supplemented by nine assists in the competition.

In other Liverpool transfer news, Klopp is confident of signing the next Gareth Bale for a bargain price of just £10million as the deal of the summer edges closer.

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